aimstosneeze

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May 27, 2017
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Hi everyone. I'm a cis woman in long term relationship with a cis woman.

TLDR Does anyone have any suggestions regarding schools with religious affiliations that are safe or should be avoided? Thank you.

I know many faiths (such as my own, Unitarian Universalism) are completely welcoming to queer folks. I was curious if anyone knows anything about Marian University and University of the Incarnate Word? Both are Catholic and Marian is Franciscan. Although my mother's family is Irish Catholic and very progressive, I know there are lots of "flavors".

I plan to apply to all the Touros. My father's family is Jewish and I know it's not a faith that seeks to convert. They therefore have accommodations for Jewish students but no judgement for non-Jewish students. I also know Reform Judaism was one of the first large religious groups to recognize same sex marriage.

I heard Lake Eerie COM was pretty conservative- can anyone comment about that?

I already know to avoid Liberty. I have a friend who went there for undergrad and she confirmed it's quite conservative and deeply faith-based. Undergrads get fined if they become pregnant, for example, because it's evidence they engaged in premarital sex. There's also a shooting range on campus...? I seriously can't make this stuff up. Definitely not my kind of place.
 

aimstosneeze

2+ Year Member
May 27, 2017
100
57
Status
Pre-Medical
First, sorry this is something you have to worry about.
Second, I don't have any specific recommendations about religious DO schools. I have gay friends who went to DMU and RVU (Colorado) and had a great experience at both, although neither of them are religious schools. If I were in your position I would consider the general geographic area the school is located in (the HRC Municipal Equality Index may be helpful), as well as look up what the school's student conduct policies are and if they have any kind of LGBTQ student groups. If possible, try to go to open house events for any of the schools you are seriously considering.

As an aside, and this is coming from a place of wanting to give constructive feedback based on my own experiences of being burned in the past, your post would have been just as effective if you had asked something along the lines of, "which religious DO schools would be accepting of students who are in same-sex relationships, and which schools have specific policies against students being out as LGBTQ or are known to be unwelcoming to LGBTQ students? I was specifically wondering about X, Y, and Z schools?" All of the commentary about Catholicism, Judaism, and Liberty U is quite unnecessary. Some of your comments are not a good look.

There are certain religious organizations that I absolutely despise due to their anti-LGBTQ agendas, but unfortunately, I can't (or shouldn't) be vocal about it in any professional setting because those same institutions are held dear by people of influence over my career. Yes, this is SDN and you're mostly anonymous here, but I hope you are more careful about saying potentially inflammatory comments about religious groups in public, where the stakes are higher.
I understand your feedback is coming from a place of concern, however I included information on my religious background to help anyone else who looked at this thread and was curious about what faiths or institutions may or may not be accepting of their sexuality or gender identity. Some people assume all faiths are anti-LGBTQ and I do my best to dispel that belief. It sounds like you don’t have direct experience with the original query other than having lgbtq friends who went to certain schools. It’s not a mystery to me why you’ve been burned for saying things in the past. You’re commenting on behalf of a group that you‘ve given no indication you belong to and you’re advising me not to discuss experiences with groups that I do belong to. If I’ve said something that’s inaccurate or that you take personal issue with, please let me know. Otherwise thank you again for your concern and have a good day.
 

Meowidith_Grey

MD c/o 2024
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Sep 17, 2014
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While I sadly don’t have any information regarding schools with religious affiliation, I will say that one of my close friends went to KCU-COM and loved it. She met her girlfriend there and loved the city, so I’d keep that in mind as a decent place to go to for those reasons :).
 
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CUSOM is technically Christian but generally welcoming to LGB(T?) students. The main university is a bit more conservative (Baptist affiliated) but the DO program has a lot of accepting faculty and students.
 
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Oct 2, 2018
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I interviewed at UIW and MUCOM, and they seemed to not emphasize religion very much when talking about their schools. Based on my experiences at the schools and the students I talked to, I think they’d be pretty LGBTQ-friendly. The MUCOM admissions head explicitly told us, “there’s no such thing as ‘Catholic medicine.’ The medical school is just about medicine, and religion isn’t in the curriculum.”

I also interviewed at CUSOM and had an interviewer (faculty member) who, for whatever reason, was expressing his socially conservative views to me during the interview. I’m not sure if he was an exception or the rule, though. CUSOM students on SDN seem to say that religion isn’t really a noticeable part of their curriculum.

I agree that you’d probably want to avoid LUCOM.
 
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El-Rami

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Jun 6, 2015
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Unless the school is associated with a liberal church/movement like Reform Judaism or Episcopalian, I would be very careful about being too open about being LGBT. At best it may be seen as neutral, or at worst give them something they can use against you. It's very easy for a school to claim someone is unprofessional when that's not the real reason why they are disciplining them/kicking them out of a program.

Fortunately, the culture of medicine is largely more liberal, although there are regions (particularly the south) where the profession is still transitioning from a more conservative culture to a more liberal one. There's still more work to be done, for sure, but the signs that I have seen all point in a positive direction, towards inclusion and acceptance of LGBT students and service of the LGBT community.



I interviewed at UIW and MUCOM, and they seemed to not emphasize religion very much when talking about their schools. Based on my experiences at the schools and the students I talked to, I think they’d be pretty LGBTQ-friendly. The MUCOM admissions head explicitly told us, “there’s no such thing as ‘Catholic medicine.’ The medical school is just about medicine, and religion isn’t in the curriculum.”

I also interviewed at CUSOM and had an interviewer (faculty member) who, for whatever reason, was expressing his socially conservative views to me during the interview. I’m not sure if he was an exception or the rule, though. CUSOM students on SDN seem to say that religion isn’t really a noticeable part of their curriculum.

I agree that you’d probably want to avoid LUCOM.
While that may be true, the curriculum isn't what you would have to worry about. It's the people in charge, who may or may not harbor negative attitudes toward LGBT students, which may or may not lead to bias against you in terms of evaluating your performance.

EDIT: I would like to add that I wouldn't ever encourage people to stay in the closet. I am pretty much in the closet myself regarding my sexuality, having lived in areas where being out could be a death sentence. I know how damaging it can be from an emotional standpoint to not be yourself and live a lie in order to avoid negativity from others. However, I am just saying that the OP should exercise some caution until they get further on in their career so they can get a chance to change the overall culture from within.
 
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kraskadva

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Apr 28, 2011
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@aimstosneeze
Other than naming Liberty and Loma Linda as places to actively avoid, I don't have any specific recommendations. But one way to judge the attitude on campus is to ask for a list of student orgs and see if there's a LGBTQ+ student group, or not. Presence or absence of one will tell you a lot about how many queer folks they admit and how open those queer students feel comfortable being. In that list you might also find contact info for the groups that do exist and can then ask really honest questions of the group leaders that won't impact your app.
Another thing to consider is the area the school is in. Many med school campuses are more "liberal" (because science based --> less overt prejudice) than their surrounding communities. So while most med schools are at least tolerant if not encouraging, the rest of the area might not be. Your partner also needs to live in the community, and you don't want to set her up in a place where you can be out on campus but she/you both can't be out in public. Looking for community LGBTQ+ orgs, past pride events, etc in the area is also a good way to judge this beyond the typical regional assumptions.
 

aimstosneeze

2+ Year Member
May 27, 2017
100
57
Status
Pre-Medical
Unless the school is associated with a liberal church/movement like Reform Judaism or Episcopalian, I would be very careful about being too open about being LGBT. At best it may be seen as neutral, or at worst give them something they can use against you. It's very easy for a school to claim someone is unprofessional when that's not the real reason why they are disciplining them/kicking them out of a program.

Fortunately, the culture of medicine is largely more liberal, although there are regions (particularly the south) where the profession is still transitioning from a more conservative culture to a more liberal one. There's still more work to be done, for sure, but the signs that I have seen all point in a positive direction, towards inclusion and acceptance of LGBT students and service of the LGBT community.





While that may be true, the curriculum isn't what you would have to worry about. It's the people in charge, who may or may not harbor negative attitudes toward LGBT students, which may or may not lead to bias against you in terms of evaluating your performance.

EDIT: I would like to add that I wouldn't ever encourage people to stay in the closet. I am pretty much in the closet myself regarding my sexuality, having lived in areas where being out could be a death sentence. I know how damaging it can be from an emotional standpoint to not be yourself and live a lie in order to avoid negativity from others. However, I am just saying that the OP should exercise some caution until they get further on in their career so they can get a chance to change the overall culture from within.
Really appreciate the feedback. I'm a non-trad and outward and internalized homophobia was part of my childhood. Teens and younger 20s folks sometimes don't have this experience and may believe that a neutral institutional stance on lgbtq+ people equals safety. This is evidence we're making progress and I'm really pleased to see there are kids who don't have first hand knowledge of homophobia. But it also means that people are forgetting that there is deeply ingrained and sometimes unconscious bias against queer folks in older generations who hold the power at places where I may be interested in attending or working.

Thank you for putting so much care into your response regarding staying in the closet or not. I teach an age appropriate comprehensive sex ed course for middle school aged youth and have to walk a similar line with the kids who ask me for advice about coming out as queer. Ultimately I always tell them their safety is most important. Yes it's spiritually, emotionally and mentally damaging to stay in the closet. But it's more immediately harmful to physical and mental health if they're kicked out of their home for being queer.
 
May 7, 2019
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Dentist
Hi everyone. I'm a cis woman in long term relationship with a cis woman.

TLDR Does anyone have any suggestions regarding schools with religious affiliations that are safe or should be avoided? Thank you.

I know many faiths (such as my own, Unitarian Universalism) are completely welcoming to queer folks. I was curious if anyone knows anything about Marian University and University of the Incarnate Word? Both are Catholic and Marian is Franciscan. Although my mother's family is Irish Catholic and very progressive, I know there are lots of "flavors".

I plan to apply to all the Touros. My father's family is Jewish and I know it's not a faith that seeks to convert. They therefore have accommodations for Jewish students but no judgement for non-Jewish students. I also know Reform Judaism was one of the first large religious groups to recognize same sex marriage.

I heard Lake Eerie COM was pretty conservative- can anyone comment about that?

I already know to avoid Liberty. I have a friend who went there for undergrad and she confirmed it's quite conservative and deeply faith-based. Undergrads get fined if they become pregnant, for example, because it's evidence they engaged in premarital sex. There's also a shooting range on campus...? I seriously can't make this stuff up. Definitely not my kind of place.
Not religious based, but ATSU's KCOM and SOMA are both very LGBT friendly
 
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