Thursday, August 31, 2006

We're here, we're queer, and we're looking for Matt LeBlanc

When Fosco was choosing a college in the early 1990s, how was he to know which university would serve as the best incubator of his latent queerness? All he had to rely on were publications like the Spartacus Guide (pictured left), which strictly speaking, aren't even college guides at all (despite the potentially-misleading cover). Fosco feels for you, his deceived queer brethren, who embarked on a four-year course of study at Rim U, hoping to meet the handsome varsity athlete pictured on the cover of the 90/91 Spartacus Guide. Fosco can imagine your sense of betrayal when, a few years later, you finally find the missing cover boy on "Must See TV" and discover that he is probably not (?) gay.

But now, college-bound queers need not suffer for lack of information, thanks to the The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students.

As Fosco is A) well past college age, B) no longer willing to date high school students (so stop calling, Casey), and C) on a budget, he has no intention of actually purchasing a copy of this guide. However, he is quite curious about its contents, especially concerning his current academic affiliation, his various previous academic pit stops, and his alma mater...

For understandable reasons, the promotional material for the guide is very tight-lipped about the rankings, although they do list the Top 20 (unranked in alphabetical order). Gratifyingly, UCSC is one of three UC schools to make the top 20. There are a few surprises, I would suggest: Duke? Princeton? Clearly the East Coast preppy establishment has changed a bit in the last decade or so (or has it?). I mean sure, Duke used to have an exceptional Queer Theory contingent, but (last time I checked) the school is located somewhere in North Carolina (the exact location is unavailable at press time).

Luckily, local broadsheet Metro Santa Cruz has revealed some of the rankings within the Top 20, and this is where things get interesting. Ranked higher than UC Santa Cruz is... El Ohio State University. WTF?

Now, Fosco is willing to do a little (a very little) research and he has discovered that the campus resources for LGBT students at OSU do appear to be excellent. There is also the fact that OSU boasts the best-funded scholarship program for LGBT students in the nation. Sounds good... maybe even better than UCSC, but what about when you want to leave campus?

When you're a young queer, would you really want to go to a college (even a very gay-friendly college) in a place with

Case closed.

And what of Fosco's Crimsonish alma mater? According to Metro, the Big H
didn't make it into The Advocate's guide at all this time around, partially due to the absence of an anti-discrimination policy that applies to transgender students at the time the book went to press. Harvard has since changed its policy.
Well, that sounds about right.

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