In addition to Middlebury’s classic claims to fame, such as the largest window in the state and the second highest concentration of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New England, the college has also recently earned the title of the third best gay spot in Vermont. Coming in behind only Burlington and a forest, the college town has been called by Out magazine as “not the absolute worst place in the northeast to live as a queer person.”
Burlington came in at the top of list largely thanks to its one gay bar and general aesthetic of women in leather jackets. Close behind at number two is a forest in southern Vermont, where two male moose were once spotted humping.
Middlebury, coming in hot at number three, boasts two great gay spots: Ross dining hall, where, according to Out, “you can always count on making uncomfortable eye contact with one of the three men you matched with on Tinder,” and the Town Hall Theater.
“People often ask me, ‘Is it hard to meet people in such a small place as Middlebury being a gay man?’ And I always tell them, ‘Well, if you consider having a pool of 14 people difficult, then yes!’” says John Trenton, ‘21.
“But I’ve had great luck here, dating-wise. I come from a very conservative area, so when I got here freshman year I was just in heaven. Hooking up with predatory seniors, flirting with those sexually ambiguous hipster boys and receiving lots of mixed signals—it’s been such a blast.”
According to several students interviewed by Out, the best part of being queer in Middlebury is the vibrant, omnipresent community. “I love walking into a room and knowing I won’t be the token queer person, unless it’s a dining hall or an Atwater party or a townhouse party or any other social space that’s not the Mill,” says Alyssa Waters ‘20.
Brian Stevens ‘19 feels similarly about academic spaces: “I’m an Econ major, and even though I’m usually the only queer person in my classes, nobody has pushed my head in a toilet or called me a faggot, so I’d call that a diversity win.”
The admissions office does not keep diversity statistics for sexuality, but a spokesperson said, “We are sure we have an incredibly high number of LGBTQ students in our diverse student body. I can’t give you exact numbers, but once we do get our hands on those stats, we will market the hell out of you fairies—I mean, beloved LGBTQ students.”