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Coming out as gay essay

EthanHughesEthanHughes 0 replies4 threadsRegistered User New Member
I'm writing my common app essay right now, but I got stuck. My topic is coming out as gay to my mom, and how I changed/grew after this experience. I'm feeling a little bit confused, however, because I've realized that this topic is extremely overused. I'm worried that I'll just blend into all of the other gay kids and it won't help me at all. Should I try to come up with a new topic, or do you think it's a good topic as long as I write it well?
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Replies to: Coming out as gay essay

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7242 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would suggest another topic.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2208 replies36 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I would come up with a new topic. It doesn't have to be a completely different topic, though. Perhaps your essay doesn't focus on coming out specificially, but some important event that happened after you came out, but that wouldn't have happened had you not made that revelation. That could be any number of things. Maybe you made a transition from simply being out of the closet to making the leap to advocating for gay/lesbians in your community. Perhaps you helped a friend also come out. This makes it easier for you to show your personality and uniqueness, go beyond giving the AOs a story they have heard many, many times before.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 18
    It needs to be relevant to what adcoms look for, for the college and the class. Best is to show the traits they like to see. It doesn't need to be "unique." They read thousands of essays and it's impossible to expect each admit wrote something unlike any other.

    So do you feel coming out to your mother is something they actively look for? How does it show you as the sort of person they want? What good for peers and others came from this revelation? Think about it.

    Alot of kids think the prompts mean you need write about some big thing in their lives. But it's your colege app essay, not like an open topic in hs.
    edited September 18
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 22
    The first issue is that being gay is not something unusual to adcoms or one of the trait sets colleges look for. The like attributes that reflect how one will engage in that college's community, try new things, reach out, etc. Gay or not.

    And the advice is "show, not just tell." So, not a string of declarations. Even with the law example, you'd need to show what you're doing now that exemplifies.

    There are some post grad programs where diversity in identity or personal prefs matters. Some professional programs, eg, seek to balance their class representation and their students' sensitivty to, eg, issues among gay communities.

    OP is applying for a different context.

    So I still ask, how did this one experience change you, your outlook, in practice, your actual contributions to others, etc, for the better?
    edited September 22
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1479 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think it is a two-edged sword, you might write something that was transformative to you and powerful to others, but you could also easily fall into the cliches and predictable paths and make the reader yawn (or worse yet, be cynical). I believe that this experience is important to you, but it could be a daunting task to convey it in an unique way.
    Good luck.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1711 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I do think it is overused. Maybe I feel this way because I live in a very liberal part of the country but in my circles and where I live, everyone is over this and getting really tired of hearing about what people do behind closed doors. (I know you're not sharing THAT but you know what I mean) It's so no big deal to be gay that it doesn't make you unique or interesting.

    Think about the rest of your self and your experiences. What else ya' got?
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  • vamominvabeachvamominvabeach 408 replies12 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited September 22
    Sorry, but I cannot hold my tongue regarding the response above from Empireapple. I’m glad to hear you think being gay is no big deal, perhaps progress is being made in gay rights. However, never tell a person, gay or straight, that they are not unique or interesting! It sounds as though you are not gay, nor does it sound like you have a gay child - as your response is quite flippant and dismisses how very difficult it is to come to terms with being gay and to come out to family and friends, even today. I’ve experienced this with my child first hand and it is a gut wrenching, life altering experience for the child and the parent. The experience can be liberating, yet full of fear. It’s a powerful moment and it should be respected. If the original poster feels the need to write about it, then they should. My own child did and it was a powerful piece of writing.
    edited September 22
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  • happy1happy1 22838 replies2247 threadsVerified Member Senior Member
    Yes, there will be a number of "coming out" college essays to be sure. BUT if you can write your story in an interesting and insightful manner that will show admissions officers why you will be a valuable, contributing member of their college community then it can certainly work.

    I always tell people to start off by writing a draft or an outline and see where the essay goes.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1711 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    vamominvabeach you're reading into things. It really is no big deal among my circles and where I live. Nothing more intended. Maybe this is your rodeo? I'm sorry if things have been difficult for you.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Vamom, with respect, getting into a top college is about the whole kid, energies, activation, and more. Not any one aspect. The essay needs to show the traits the targets do value.

    This: "why you will be a valuable, contributing member of their college community," as that college defines that.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4193 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My daughter is gay and came out in high school also. Actually not traumatic at all and kinda funny but that's for another thread.. Lol..

    I agree with @lookingforward comments.

    Personally, I think it's cliché and would find something that shows who you are and why the colleges would want you. You can definitely mention that your gay. "As a gay female applicant I feel......." etc.

    But if this is what your going to write about then knock it out of the park. Maybe a different take on it. Relate it back to "why you" on the college campus.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34060 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Good phrase, @knowstuff. "Why you on the campus." (Using, "Show, not just tell.") That's not a lot of the things kids *want* to reveal.
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