I've always sort of poked a little fun as those heartland states, often lumping them all together as "those squares states in the Middle." It was kind of easy to do, having grown up in California, and also lived in so-not-square Miami.
But one of those square states has once again proven that they are more accepting, tolerant, understanding, and free-thinking than most of the other square states and most of those states to their left and right, geographically speaking, and that's Iowa.
Iowa, where same-sex marriage is legal and the locusts haven't destroyed the corn and the Earth hasn't opened up and swallowed all those gay-marrying heathens, has made another giant leap forward in LGBT victories. Well, at least the University of Iowa has made that leap.
The University of Iowa has announced that, from now on, its admission application will include the option to self-identify as an LGBT student. Along with the other demographics questions of ethnicity and extracurricular interests, applicants will now see an optional line asking “Do you identify with the LGBTQ community?”--including “Transgender” as a gender option.
It may seem like a small question, really, the impact is quite huge. While not the first school to give that option to applicants--that honor goes to Elmherst College--the University of Iowa is the first public university to do so.
LGBT university of Iowa students are thrilled at the change, and Jake Christensen, the admissions counselor who started the process, says that by changing the application “we are telling people that this is a place with respect for all kinds of students.”
As universities should be. And now, more universities are stepping up, and making their college application LGBT-friendly. The university of California, and California State university systems, are expected to follow the University of Iowa's lead and implement the same changes to their applications next year. But, the University of Iowa has done it first.
Who knew a square state could be so LGBT-friendly?