Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Should I mention sexuality?  (Read 6098 times)

taterstol

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 481
  • Current 1L
    • AOL Instant Messenger - CoolDorky
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2004, 02:16:33 PM »
I had to think a lot about this too when I was putting together my apps. If you have leadership/community involvement experiences related to your sexuality, then I think by all means mention them. If you were the president of your GSA, make absolutely sure it's on your resume. You'd be doing yourself a disservice to leave that kind of information out, because it's valuable leadership experience, and law schools will recognize that.

I was president of the GSA at my school and I included it on my resume. I also briefly mentioned it in my personal statement. I also had a lot of other things I was involved in, a lot of other strengths, so I chose to focus on those and let the "gay" part of my application be somewhat of a sidenote. I think it paid off for me, not because I'm gay, but because it led to work that I could market myself with.

That being said, if you don't have some kind of leadership or involvement to tie to being gay, I would leave it out. You will have other strengths that will be more appropriate to focus on.

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2004, 06:35:28 PM »
I don't think you should.  Frankly, I don't think it should even be an issue.  How many heterosexuals are going to mention it in their personal statements?  I'm didn't.   ;)

chooster99

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 106
  • 3.53 GPA UC Irvine/161 LSAT...headed for Loyola
    • AOL Instant Messenger - chooster99
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2004, 06:54:58 PM »
     As a fellow gay person, I think you absolutely should mention it!  Any school that is going to put your application in the "auto-reject" pile for simply mentioning your sexuality is not a school that you want to attend anyway.  The simple fact that being being gay shaped the person who you are today and made you work harder than other people to overcome adversity is definitely worthy of the admission committees' cosideration. 
     However, don't simply say something to the tune of "I'm gay, let me into your school please".  Utilize your sexuality to explain how you can contribute to the diversity of the class, as well as how this affected your decision to become a lawyer.  I would agree to use more caution when applying to the more religious schools, however.
     Lastly, JGRUBER, the reason why heterosexuals don't mention their sexual orientation is because they don't have to; heterosexuality is considered to be the "norm" in our society.  Being gay, black, poor, or being able to speak 7 languages is interesting and different, and is absolutely important to mention if you want to stand out from thousands of other applicants. 

freddy51

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2004, 07:03:10 PM »
I would definitely say it is a "different" aspect to your overall application.  However, it is not something that is going to show you overcoming adversity.  First of all, I am going to keep an open mind, despite my feelings on the matter.  Most people in the USA, including adcomms are not going to think extremely highly of your overcoming the oppression you felt for being gay.  I would guess that more people are enthusiastically against homosexuality, than are enthusiastically for it.  And you would need the latter type of person to fight for you in the admissions office.
However, if it makes you feel better, you should include it.  Don't expect any brownie points for being gay, however.

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2004, 09:49:57 PM »
     Lastly, JGRUBER, the reason why heterosexuals don't mention their sexual orientation is because they don't have to; heterosexuality is considered to be the "norm" in our society.   

Let's cool off a little here.  How can you know why I don't mention my sexuality?  Do you really know why or are you assuming why relying on stereotypes?

The reason I do not mention my sexuality is because I choose not to mention it.  That is the only reason.  I chose not to mention it because I don't think it's anyone's business which sex I am attracted to.

That is the point I was trying to make in my posting.  It is not and should not be an issue what my or anybody's sexual orientation is.

It should not be an issue!

Now if someone wants to mention it, that's their choice, as it should be.

 

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2004, 09:52:14 PM »
While we're yacking about this -- and please do not assume anything about me because of this question -- let's turn the question around the other way.

If you were a gay person on the admissions committee how would you react to someone who mentioned their sexuality, either gay or heterosexual?



dta

  • Guest
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2004, 01:49:04 AM »
I am heterosexual but socially liberal. The people on admissions boards are people just like us. So, I will describe my reaction if I got a PS mentioning the applicant's gayness.

If the applicant described him/herself as gay as simply one characteristic among many then that wouldn't be a big deal. 2-4 sentences devoted to talking about his/her gayness among a 2 page PS, that's cool. I'd think I'd learned something interesting about this person. Being gay wouldn't make me think either bad or good on you. I'd read it just as if you were to say you enjoyed frisbee golf.

But if the entire PS is about how gay you are and how there is nothing else to you but your gayness and your gayness is something you're very proud about and you can't wait to come to law school and showcase your gayness and celebrate gayness about campus - then, i'd start to be a little concerned and in a negative way. It would be the same concern i'd show if the applicant went on for 2 pages about how psyched he/she is on frisbee golf and can't way to come to the university to express frisbee-golf pride and go on frisbee-golf marches. Either of these 2 psychos, the gay-fanatic or the frisbee-golf fanatic, i'd probably pass on the applicant since he/she displays a one dimensional character. I would in general avoid one dimensional fanatics.

So, my suggestion would be to weave your gayness into the PS in a casual way that shows its significance to your life but doesn't overwhelm the PS as a whole.

Ziva

  • Guest
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2004, 02:00:57 AM »
Trent,

When you apply to schools you know are liberal (Harvard, for example) I would include it.  Personally, if I were on an admissions committee I would look favorable upon openly gay candidates because I think they are one of the most viciously discriminated-against minority groups. I think many liberals feel similarly.   Also, I would respect you for having the cojones to be mention this on your app. 

However, this is a case of the blind leading the blind since none of us are on adcoms. 

blizzard of ozz

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 189
  • 3.66/163
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I mention sexuality?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2004, 04:03:14 AM »
I'm in a particular situation with my personal statement.  I'm wondering if I should include my sexuality, and the face that I'm gay as a key focus of it.  I think that I probably should, because as a result of being removed from my household in my first year of university my marks suffered notably.  Through hard work, the building of confidence, and friends I was able to get my average back up to an A-A+ level.  Is it wise to focus my personal statement around this aspect of my life?  I'm thinking of applying to Columbia, Yale, NYU, Princeton, and Harvard, and am not sure how they'd respond to such facts.  

I welcome any suggestions.

Problem #1 Princeton doesn't have a Law School. You do know this is a law board, right? Or is this flamebait?

Problem #2

Personally, I don't think anyone reads the goddamned things.

I wrote an essay about all the charity work I did in UG that would make grown men cry and a supplemental statement that was basically about why I wanted to go into public interest law (which went into my backgrounds/obstacles). It didn't help an iota at any of my target schools. The first draft of PS that was the worst, the one where I misspelled my name, and the name of the school. The school this was submitted to was one of the schools that offered me a large scholarship.

Problem #3 I wouldn't write about being gay unless you've been involved in activities related to the cause ie: LGBT or stuff like that. If you have EC's or WE that might be a plus, but if you're just writing an essay about how gay you are, to be honest, who cares? Sorry but "my marks were low that one term because I'm gay" is quite possibly the worst essay topic and excuse in recorded history.