Mentioning homosexuality in app?

<p>Hey I'm openly gay and applying to Dartmouth ED. Should I mention my homosexuality in my essay or elsewhere? Will that be seen as a hook or a turn off to the adcoms? let me know what you think please</p>

<p>no religion ,,,no politics ...no sexual preference is usually good advice
since you have no idea whos reading your essay...however perhaps if you held an office in some organization promoting gay rights etc with the emphasis on your leadership skills that would be appropriate</p>

<p>Gee, mmmatch, this is probably the first really interesting question about admissions that anyone has posted on this forum in a long time. I honestly don't know what to say. </p>

<p>My first instinct might be to agree with isacc "no politics, no religion. . ." and avoid anything even remotely controversial. But I might also want to be really upfront about who I am. Just as if I were left of liberal or Jewish I would want to know from the get-go if these things presented a problem for admissions, if being gay is going to be an issue in terms of admission, that is probably a very good indication of what this college might be like and what my ultimate comfort level might be there. </p>

<p>I have to ask, though, why Dartmouth? Don't get me wrong, Dartmouth is wonderful in many ways, but I'm not sure that it would be my first, second, or even third choice if I were gay. You don't think that a slightly less rural and less Greek college might be a happier choice in the long run? Dartmouth's motto is something very close to "a voice crying out in the wilderness." As a gay student, I would be afraid that you might feel like you are that voice. --coldcomfort</p>

<p>Do what you feel comfortable with. It partly depends on spin. If you avoid the "pity me, I'm ostracized from society" trap and focus on the "promoting tolerance" angle, the essay should be very interesting. Homosexuality is just a part of you, not a label that should apply to your personality, so make sure YOU shine through. I'm a female, but the adcoms wouldn't stop at that...they look at my achievements, my personality. I'm a former anorexic female, which could be detrimental in their opinion of me, but I'm putting it in my essay because my experiences did shape who I am.</p>

<p>mmmatch,</p>

<p>I sent you a PM.</p>

<p>"I have to ask, though, why Dartmouth? Don't get me wrong, Dartmouth is wonderful in many ways, but I'm not sure that it would be my first, second, or even third choice if I were gay. You don't think that a slightly less rural and less Greek college might be a happier choice in the long run?"</p>

<p>coldcomfort- I see your point to an extent, but I must say that the gay people I know at Dartmouth seem quite comfortable here. There is a relatively sizeable, active gay community for the size of the student body. Additionally, many of the gay people I have met at Dartmouth I met through the Greek community (including the president of a fraternity.)</p>

<p>Dartmouth is friendly to all types, but it isn't gay/ liberal focused. That means a gay person will find a ton of supportive friends and a great community, but its a sizable subset, not the whole school, that tilts to the ultra-gay aware side of things. Places like Wesleyan, Vassar, and Brown are much more dominated by gay culture.</p>

<p>It depends on how you plan to put it in. If you want to talk about your activism in gay-rights, then it may just be best to talk about it without referring to your sexuality. In my essay I talked about how far gay rights has to go, but didn't mention I'm gay. They might have guessed it though.</p>

<p>If you talk about your experiences coming out to people and accepting yourself, then it is very relevant, however. Just try to make sure it seems you're someone who made the best of things rather than someone they'll feel sorry for.</p>

<p>Dartmouth did have an openly gay assistant director of admissions a few years ago.</p>

<p>Dartmouth loves diversity. I don't think its wrong to mention as long as you do it without being cliche.</p>

<p>First, I don't know why you'd ever mention being gay in an application to a mainstream school. There's a significant chance there will be a homophobe among the adcoms as there are so many in the population. Second I agree, Dartmouth isn't the best choice for someone gay. A good friend of mine who, gay, has spent 3 years at a preppy NE school will only consider colleges with less mainstream student bodies. Berkeley and NYU are her top choices with Smith as her safety.</p>

<p>mmmatch36,</p>

<p>I was accepted to Dartmouth this past spring and I wrote my personal statement about being gay. I am an openly gay man myself and I've always mentioned it in my applications. In fact, I think it made my application that much stronger. I found the subject to be unavoidable when I had to choose a significant experience in my life to write about - it made my application more personal. While being gay is not a hook, it certainly won't hurt your application. I think it brings a certain aspect of diversity that admissions counselors will take into consideration. </p>

<p>Also, if you love Dartmouth enough to apply ED, you'll definitely have a great time there. There are lots of gay kids there. Hope this helps :).</p>

<p>"Dartmouth is friendly to all types, but it isn't gay/ liberal focused."</p>

<p>Slipper, I don't really understand this. What school <em>is</em> gay focused? And for that matter, what do you mean by "liberal focused?" Surely you are not implying it is "conservative-focused"...</p>

<p>I'm not being confrontational, just curious.</p>

<p>I don't think one always needs to mention one's homosexuality in an application. But if an applicant's best essay needs them to mention their sexuality, then it is better to include it in the essay, provided it's relevant, than settle for a topic that the applicant cannot write as well about. Hence why it was necessary for me to talk about it in my Middlebury essay, in response to "Describe an experience in which you're values were tested. How have you grown as a result of this experience?"</p>

<p>Dartmouth isn't a mainstream school. It's not reasonable to call any Ivy "mainstream". If there is someone in the adcoms homophobic as you describe, then many a gay student would not be interested in going there. While tolerance is an important factor, I get the impression that most top schools, Dartmouth included, are very accepting of homosexuality. While the gay scene at Dartmouth may not be as big as at places like NYU, there is more than just that to consider (academics, for instance)</p>

<p>WOW thanks everyone for all of the discussion and advice! T
To reply to a lot of questions that have come up: I've chosen Dartmouth because it matches my goals academically and my personality socially. I consider my homosexuality to be only a small part of who I am. Dartmouth might not be crazy liberal like NYU or Wesleyan, but it is a better fit for me personally. Also, I like the idea of going to a school which is not entirely liberal. I value a challenge.
Thanks to everyone for the advice!</p>

<p>I like your attitude. I think while Dartmouth and Wesleyan each have sizable gay communities, the main difference is that at Dartmouth you become accustomed to either being shunned, or condescended to by an equal number of fellow students. A few--very few-- might even call out an epithet in the wee hours of the morning, when drunk. But, most Dartmouth gay folk I've spoken to would gladly re-apply if given the chance.</p>

<p>This whole discussion is nice and philosophical, but the fact is, if the question was asked to see whether it was <em>possible</em> to mention it in an application to Dartmouth, the answer is "of course". But its interesting how some questions seem to lose sight of the goal: getting admitted. </p>

<p>As cold as it sounds: your answer should in part depend on your other components of your application (GPA, Rank, SAT). The extent to which you are already a strong candidate will impact the degree to which any attempt to mention your diversity will be seen as part of a well-rounded application or just a ploy to get a plus factor.</p>

<p>If you are mentioning it in your essay just for the sake of mentioning it: don't bother. Its not much of a plus factor anymore just by BEING gay. Plenty of gay people end up getting admitted with or without being screened. If your sexuality is something on which you have a story to tell, or an obstacle to discuss, then it would make more sense.</p>

<p>My gut reaction is you likely don't have much to say except you are attracted to the same sex. I base this on your initial question where you ask should you "mention" your sexuality rather than "write about" it. You also use the word "hook". Your gamesmanship might shine through, resulting in your application being weaker had you not said anything at all.</p>

<p>Sexuality isn't going to get you in somewhere you wouldn't get already. Times have changed and you are more likely to find that the frat house is the place to find the gay sex parties, and the sorority girls aren't as straight and narrow as you think.</p>

<p>Just to note, there was one year, I believe 2001, where Harvard's best rated essay was from an Asain boy who wrote about his struggle with being gay.</p>

<p>absolutely do it! i'm not kidding. Not only does it add diversity- but it's one the college is very interested in recruiting...they just don't say it. Believe me....you will not be upset if you decide to mention it in your essay. My friend wrote about his struggles with coming out in his essay and got a very nice note from one of the admission officers when he received his acceptance package.</p>

<p>I go to Dartmouth, I've seen all the hoops they have...and I know from talking to admission officers that sexuality is a big thing they want to know about. DEFINITELY DO IT.</p>

<p>Now that I've read through some of the posts, I'd just like to say-</p>

<p>My friends who are gay really love it at Dartmouth. It's an incredibly accepting community. Don't let people fool you into thinking frats don't like gay people. I know a gay guy at almost every house. This is a very open campus....and even people who say they are conservative are not homophobic. Of course you'll find some, but...it's definitely not a problem.</p>

<p>If you notice- the students from Dart on this board are saying "DO IT!"</p>

<p>The others are telling you not to....
REALLY! DO IT!</p>

<p>apppro,</p>

<p>Hope you are having a great summer. Did you go home yet or are you still in Hanover?</p>