Top Gay Friendly College Football Schools
By John Chavez
Sometimes as gay men and women we tend to be apprehensive about going to a sporting event because we fear that we might be lambasted or bashed. But what colleges make the list for the best football atmosphere for gays and lesbians to attend?
We roamed the country for the ten best gay-friendly campuses in the country on football game days that give gays the opportunity to ‘branch out’ and enjoy the electric football scenery. Our list includes 10 universities from all over the country. This list includes five schools from the Pacific-10 conference, two schools from the Big Ten and Sun Belt, and one university from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
1 & 2) University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)
– The proximity of these two schools make it hard to separate each one. USC and UCLA’s embracing acceptance of gays makes this an ideal place to watch college football. For those USC fans, watching Pete Carroll dominate the PAC-10 has been a fixture for seven seasons. Enjoyable football with a packed house of 92,500 fans every week makes this the place to be on college game day. If you’re not feeling the Trojan pride, drive down to the Rose Bowl where the Bruins can make you feel at home. This university’s rich history in college football makes it a great place for any college football fan to enjoy.
3) Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)
– There is nothing more exciting than going to Columbus on game day. The Buckeyes make every student at OSU proud after their fourth consecutive Big Ten Conference Championship in 2008. There is no doubt that gays can enjoy pre-game tailgating without obtaining glaring stares or disruptions. The consistency of producing winning teams and the dotting of the i in the ‘Script of Ohio’ is a must for any sports enthusiast. Columbus’ liberal attitude and hopping night life make OSU a top destination for any college football fan.
4 & 5) Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley (Palo Alto and Berkeley, California)
- Gay life is abundant in Palo Alto and it’s prime location to San Francisco makes this an awesome football destination. Let’s not forget Stanford’s biggest rival UC-Berkeley on the East Bay. The Cardinal and Golden Bears don’t have the atmosphere of a USC or Ohio State, but the laid back and energetic atmosphere make this a fun place to watch college football. The proximity to San Francisco allows gays to enjoy the game and then indulge in the night life in one of the best gay cities in the world. Why wouldn’t this be on any gay sports fan’s list?
6) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
– If you’re looking for the ultimate college fan experience look no further than the Maize and Blue. The blossoming city of Ann Arbor multiplies on game days as 107,501 fans converge into Michigan Stadium. Although the on the field product has been lackluster since the teams debacle to Appalachian State in 2007, Michigan is still a great place to see a game. The fans are more concerned with their team’s on the field performance rather than who is sitting next to them.. If you’re looking for the diehard football experience with a friendly welcome, then this is the place for you.
7) Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)
– Unlike their die-hard rivals North Carolina and North Carolina State, the Duke Blue Devils bring out southern charm with gay-friendly vibes. This is the only university in the South that competes in a power-six conference with this distinction. Wallace Wade Stadium’s near 34,000 fans make it a great place to tailgate and enjoy a true southern tradition. Watching all the fraternity members in their button-downs and ties make this more of a thing to do rather than the result of the game. If you’re looking just for a fun social event, Durham is the place to be.
8) University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon)
– Want the west coast football experience without the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles or San Francisco? Try an excursion to the Emerald City in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks might not have winning tradition of UCLA or USC, but it’s aesthetics is what makes this a great place to watch college football. The interesting architecture of Autzen Stadium makes this a neat and intimate experience. Plus, the five variations of the Ducks’ uniforms could make anyone go blind with their bright green and yellow Nike jerseys. The beautiful city of Eugene along with its strong fan base make this a neat place to watch a game.
9) Middle Tennessee State (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
– This school makes the list because of its progressive nature trapped by the surroundings of rural Tennessee. There is no secret that gays entrench the campus of Middle Tennessee State. The school’s small fan base, along with its relative close location to Nashville makes this a prime destination for any fan wanting to see a traditional college football game without the crowd mayhem. Back in 2006, the school made headlines when ESPN caught two boys kissing each other in a opening shot of a televised broadcast. After all, what homosexual wouldn’t want to go to a school who’s mascot is a Pegasus?
10) Florida International (Miami, Florida)
– There’s no doubt FIU lacks the tradition of other schools. But it’s location in Miami with its upbeat game atmosphere make this place more of a party stop than a college football game. Attend a game at FIU and you will notice the trendy club beats and hip hop atmosphere between every play. The lax attitude of FIU fans make this a great place for those gays wanting to grab a few drinks and watch decent college football. Expect there to be more club beats this year after the university announced that it had disbanded it’s marching band and that cheerleaders will no longer be at the games. But for those men who like to look at beautiful women, at least there is the Golden Dazzlers!
(Photos: Getty Images)
Unless otherwise stated, no particular sexual orientation of anyone depicted is implied or should be presumed.