I’m a Lesbian. Should I Hide That?

by Judge Josh on December 6, 2010

Victoria’s a lesbian, and her experience of being a lesbian actually makes a pretty sweet answer to one of her essay questions that could win her some money. But she’s not sure if it’s a great idea.

Hi Josh,

I’m in my final year of University and though I know what I want to do in the broad sense, I am trying to take advantage of some specific opportunities that might lead me there. In addition to grad school proposals, I am working on a number of applications for exciting opportunities both local and abroad.


Excellent. Congrats!

The applications are all very similar, which is a mixed blessing. It’s good in the sense that I can write about leadership til the cows come home (leadership is my major)

I’ll be damned. I never knew leadership was a major.

but the application always ask some variant of the following; Please tell us about a time in your life where you faced a challenge and tell us how you dealt with it.

Yeah, pretty standard question these days. High schoolers, take note — start ginning up a good answer for this one. Apply polish as the years go by. Doing so will greatly increase your chances of winning some big money.

The one that I’m working on at the moment asks this: Discuss a personal experience or narrative that allows you to relate to the —– program and has inspired you to apply to participate.

I have a great one; I am a lesbian.

Awesome. Let’s do it.

There was a time when I would have given anything to be straight, but now I am proud of that fact. I have taken leadership with my orientation and try to actively be a model for younger queer girls and boys. It has even informed my academic and career interests; I want to study and contribute to queer cinema.

No complaints from me so far. Sounds like this is exactly the type of experience or narrative they’re hoping you’ll write about.

I’d like to think that because I am applying to programs who boast values of equality and acceptance that this will be accepted and even to my advantage.

I tend to agree with you. I think you’re probably in the most welcoming and accepting environment you’re ever going to find. And yeah, although no one will admit it, plenty of organizations love to give their awards to minorities if at all possible, so it’s true that being a lesbian could be to your advantage.

But I am afraid that this might just cost me the internship, the research position, or the scholarship. I realise that I am lucky as a Canadian because issues of GLBT rights seem to be a lot less controversial, but every once in a while you get on the wrong side of some ignorant person whose number one goal is to make you feel bad about yourself.


Yeah, and there’s the other side of the coin, of course — you’ll never be immune from the possibility that some homophobic dick may try and cause problems for you (especially once you’re out of school, where the discourse often slides back near what it was in junior high).

The good thing is, though, that these things are usually done by committee, and it’s tougher to be discriminated against by a committee since that requires the bigot to get public to the other members with his/her prejudices. Not that it can’t happen, or that the offender can’t manufacture other bullshit reasons not to pick you — it’s just harder.

So what do you say Josh? Do I come out in an application when it’s relevant?

Yeah, I definitely would, as long as you’re comfortable with it, which apparently you are. I kinda see it like this — if not here, where? It’s probably the friendliest audience you’ll ever face, honestly. You’ll have tougher crowds in the future — might as well get your feet wet here.

A second advantage of writing about it is that doing so conveys confidence. When you deliver something with confidence — oral or written — the audience doesn’t stop to think about it. They just nod and go along with you.

So, even if you did get in front of some fence-sitters, you’re better off If you talk confidently and matter-of-factly about the subject. Subconsciously, your NOT making an issue of it more likely to do the same.

I’m only an armchair psychologist myself, but it’s the same reason the best impostors are the ones who act like they’re supposed to be there. The same reason that, when a line of cars are in a lane that’s closing and they’re all trying to merge into yours, the successful ones just see a spot and merge, no questions asked. The ones that get stuck over there are the meek little pansies who signal for 30 seconds, stick their hand out the window, and inch over while looking over their shoulder 20 times looking for indisputable visual approval from the driver behind them.

Screw that. Just get over. :)

And the same for you, Victoria. Probably nothing to worry about, but hey, if there is, screw ’em. Roll how you roll, and you’ll be fine.

If you don’t get the awards — well, everything will still be fine in the end, and you’ll be a lot happier with yourself for bringing the real you to the table. Hide from no one.

— Any thoughts, reader-folk? Better to play it safe? Let us know in the comments below.

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I don’t think they can legally deny you anything based on your sexual orientation. Also, most people don’t have a challenge to use for essays like such, so use this to your advantage!

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Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 11:13 pm

the issue is if the school is more conservative they might emphasize a negative portion of your application just because your sexuality. People will always pass judgements.

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Allie December 6, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I think in this specific case, there’s nothing wrong with mentioning it. However, it should be mentioned that readers who are also facing this quandry should consider their audience before choosing to write about it. If you’re in the Bible Belt, for instance, I personally would leave it out.

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Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 8:31 pm

If you do choose to apply for this scholarship (which I definitely think you should!) you will be a role model to so many gay and lesbian youth who may have qualms about taking advantage of opportunities like this. I agree with the first comment–it’s not right for them to deny you based on your sexual orientation. It would be their loss if they did. The impact that your life experiences have had on YOU is what they want to see. I feel strongly that you can convince them how passionately you feel about your goals in cinema and how being lesbian has shaped you as a leader. GO FOR IT! :)

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Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Not a good idea

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Christina December 6, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Personally I am straight but I have no biases. I strongly believe that she should speak her mind and reach for those gay/lesbian scholarships and opportunities. You should not hide who you are. There will always be someone to judge you and try to get you down, but don’t ever let that hinder your self-worth and ideals. Do what you feel is right for you and forget what anyone else thinks. I think you should go for it!

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Renata December 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Never hide.

Sometimes, you must be fierce. Sometimes, you must be subtle. But you must always be yourself.

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Christine December 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm

I love seeing this question asked, and I love your answer!

However, Victoria should know that there are times that being so out on applications may affect her. I’m also a lesbian who does a lot of work in LGBTQA groups. My resume is pretty queer. I’m a science major, and while I was accepted into a lab with no reservations because of my strong research background, it’s not a very welcoming environment. I’ve had to switch around labs a number of times because of the threats I get and the blatant homophobia. Even if someone accepts your application doesn’t mean they embrace your identity fully, so make sure you always test the waters and know your limits!

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Kai December 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Christine I’m really sorry to hear about this happening to you. I think some forms of discrimination can also be helped and can be remedied by empowering yourself further. Sometimes even the way we carry ourselves effects how people treat us, we might think it’s because of discrimination but it’s really our body language, facial expressions or tone of voice that might put people off. I think if you expect discrimination that’s what you’ll typically find in the world.
I have a friend from class whose seems to be really insecure about his race–in our particular class, the instructor was a while male, but I knew he had spent a lot of his education doing research on segregation to try and make positive changes in his community–this particular friend from class often used to pose really intense questions during lectures that seemed to imply our instructor may have been a racist, or the study itself was discriminating in some way–which it can be– but I found it interesting and a little saddening that he was so angry about discrimination that he couldn’t see the professor was on his side of the issue and doing work to try and change things. Although racism seems like a quiet little problem on my campus with some groups naturally tending to segregate themselves, I do my best to have diverse friendships, especially because I’m mixed myself and generally don’t fit into one set group (being Bi is kind of like this also). When I made friends with him I suspected I was one of the few friends he’s made on campus who was fair-skinned. Once, I saw my friend in the halls and we smiled and waves, five minutes later we passed each other again and he averted his eyes and it even looked like maybe his shoulders tensed up and he looked down to the ground slightly, this seemed really strange because I was sure he saw me try to say hi. He was on his way to meet a group of other friends from his own ethnicity, and it really seemed to me that maybe he might have been ashamed to have a friend like me in front of that particular social group.

I know it seems weird and maybe a little unrelated to queer issues, but perhaps if all your friends are in one tight bunch it can be hard to trust the –straight, white, or other less discriminated against demographics– outside. But not everyone outside of your community feels that way, in fact I really like to hope most don’t at this point. Maybe consider moving to a more liberal state, but also keep your chin up, smile, and be confident, because that will change how people perceive the entirety of you-ethnicity, orientation, gender or otherwise and it changes how people treat you.

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Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm

If I were reading it, i would think the writer is too caught up in their own personal issues, being gay is nothing new to me. When one of my good friends came out in high school we were all like, “Duh!”. For me, I would need to see how you take charge in pretty much all other matters in life. I wanna see how you would lead a business or conference, something like that. How would you lead a group, or promote an idea. Your own sexuality is too personal, show your universality.

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Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 12:40 am

actually, i think personal is exactly what they’re looking for. they need to know what makes her different from all the others. the sentence she gave did say “discuss personal experiences….etc.” so i’m assuming they want to know about her. most anyone, especially with a leadership degree can lead conferences and business discussions. not everyone can lead a group of gay teens into acceptance of their own identity with confidence, especially in a world where being gay is still heavily regarded as moral.

i don’t know what kinda advice to give her overall, but i will say that honesty is key, especially in a world that so lacks it.

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viktoalia December 6, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Go for it…there is nothing to be ashamed of ….and nothing to be scared from…

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Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Yes, use your voice as a non-hetero-normative woman to both promote your own sexual identity as an acceptable, and even an empowering quality. This will definitely help you more than it will hurt you.

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Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 9:25 pm

If talking about your sexuality is essential to answering the essay question, then fire away. IMHO, stay away from the word “queer” unless it is absolutely necessary to describe the film genre you are interested in. FYI, I know of a kid with mediocre credentials who got into University because parent is gay, which was the subject of admission letter. Good luck.

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Annie December 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Hey, another Canadian!

Telling them about your lesbianism is definitely risky. I think it might be a bad idea or it might be worth the risk, depending on the situation. I tried to explain why, but the spam filters wouldn’t let me post my comment, even when I played with the wording a bit. But if you want details (it was actually a fairly long comment), email me at annieanniereynolds@yahoo.ca

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Steve December 6, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Like race sexual orientation should not matter. This is a two way street. If you don’t want to be judged by your sexual nature then don’t gloat about it. I don’t write letters saying how hard it was for me to find a girl to have sex with me and the struggles that went along with it. The problem is you think it matters what you do in bed. But the thing of it is no one cares… you make them care by writing about it.

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Richelle December 6, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Um, this is not some optional information she is volunteering simply to say, “Hire me because I prefer my own gender!” It’s answering a question regarding a hardship, and she sees her experiences being a lesbian as the best answer. It has nothing to do with the details of her sexuality, but of how people have treated her for this trait. If that was the problem there would be no gay issues. The problems arise from the lack of acceptance of her minority status, and she is talking about how that’s shaped her. Don’t act like gay people don’t have a reason to speak up about their hardships; your argument is a prime example that people are apathetic about issues that don’t directly affect them and assume they’re just trying to get attention. Let the scholarship readers be the judge of whether this aspect of her life was a significant reason to speak on it.

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Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 12:56 am

This statement is promoting stereotypes. Statements like this one come from a class of people who think that if you do not say the most absolutely nice thing to a group that, in most cases, has minority status, then you are being discriminatory towards it. The young man was pointing out the fact that the judges would only take her sexuality into consideration if they know it and that her sexuality has no bearing on who she is as a person. It was disrespectful for you to characterize him in such a manner without giving a fair, non-biased, and non-political reading to his comments. I should point out the irony of your bigotry as you say in your comments, essentially, that gays should be tried in that very manner.

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Victoria December 7, 2010 at 2:30 am

Thanks, Richelle, that’s a pretty good summary of my side of things 😉

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Abby December 6, 2010 at 11:51 pm

The fact that you sexuality has put you in leadership positions and inspired you to be a role model should definitely be something you emphasize. Even a homophobic person on a committee can’t possibly try to downplay that.

And if you don’t get the internship or into the school, you probably didn’t want to be there anyway if they really take issue with your orientation.

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Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 12:40 am

i say be ur self

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Jeff December 7, 2010 at 1:06 am

UNLESS THERE IS AN EXTRAORDINARY REASON TO DISCLOSE YOUR ORIENTATION, THEN I DON’T SEE WHY IT WILL HELP.

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Makoba December 7, 2010 at 1:36 am

I think it’s best to avoid sexual orientation,abortion,religion and other controversial topic in scholarship essays.The Scholarship committee is likely to be made up of people with different opinions on these topics.In an ideal environment,their decision should be unbiased and without regard to your or their opinions on these issues,but this is very unlikely because this isn’t an ideal environment and they are just people.So I think it might reduce your chances of obtaining that scholarship.

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bryan December 7, 2010 at 2:46 am

You should probably in all cases write about it and be honest in your views regardless of whether you fear discrimination or not for two reasons:

If you receive discrimination based on the fact that you are lesbian, you will likely have to fight similar discrimination your entire enrolled time at whatever school you get into if you hide it. If you are rejected based on that, it is a big indication that perhaps you ought not be there as a student.

If you receive extra support for being a ‘minority,’ I guess all the more power to ya.

I don’t think it means being closed minded about things–I think you can be honest in what you do. I do think the one place where blatant honesty becomes a danger is when by nature someone is closed minded towards other’s differing opinions and being stubborn about convincing the world of their personal views. But that seems contrary to contemporary leadership, so I don’t think that would be something you seem to struggle with.

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Mohamed December 7, 2010 at 5:14 am

I believe that there is an important thing you should think about … please read this to the end…
because when you think about the world and the whole comunity … how can you come to life if you didn’t have straight parents ?
how could any one have a normal life “a mom and a dad” who can fulfill his needs in life to feel safe and to feel that there is someone who cares about you ,, if parents are not straight ?
I really do not underestimate you or any one who THINK that he or she is gay ,, I said THINK and I insist on that ,, because I believe that GOD created humanbeing in man and woman … and GOD made sexual attraction between man and woman is the natural and the normal way for the human being to spread on earth …
I believe that nobody can disagree on the importance of having a full family for the child that fulfills the needs that any child will need …
after all , I just want to say from my religious perspective … I don’t know what your religion is .. But I believe in one GOD the one who created us from one source and made us into male and female and HE made us from different races and nations so that we can know each other and to live together in peace ,, and after all nobody can judge another whether he is a believer or not , because GOD says that the best people are those ones who believe in me in a way that they believe that he is the one who knows what is good and what is bad for them …. and if they follow HIS commands …they will be happy in their life .. and after that they will have HIS mercy and enter heaven…where they will live the immortal life .. the life of perfection….
Regards..
Mohamed

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Nat December 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I got nothing from your whole speech other than religious jargon, Mohamed.
I’m not even sure what your argument was, to be completely honest. This is about academics, not preaching religion. Religious topics have had their own place in past questions that Josh has answered. You’ve pretty much insulted every LGBT member by not really giving constructive feedback and just ignoring what the whole topic is all about.

In my opinion, hiding who you are is not conducive to a leadership role. Be confident in who you are as a person. All aspects of your sense of self should support your position as a leader.

Go for it! Write about the adversity you’ve faced. I would be surprised if people weren’t impressed with what the LGBT community has to go through just in order for them to live their lives normally. Be who you are and be proud of it!

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Phil December 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Well, first off, I don’t think that everyone has to have a mom and dad to be considered “normal.” Secondly, just because you think that it’s impossible for people to feel attracted to their own gender, it doesn’t actually make it so. Homosexuality is present in different species such dolphins, black swans, gulls, penguins, lions, lizards, etc. I don’t want to bore you with an extensive list, but it goes on for a while. Also, not all religions believe in just one God (Hinduism, for example), and some don’t even believe in any Gods at all! (Buddhism, for one) Religion was created by man, so obviously it’s bound to have flaws. The big problem that many religions are missing is that they try and promote acceptance of others, but they don’t accept homosexuality. I say Victoria should write about her homosexuality because it shows her leadership skills. That’s really all their looking for, isn’t it?

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Allie December 17, 2010 at 10:38 am

I just want to point out to you that the Bible makes no specific prohibition against lesbianism. Although it does make specific mention of male-to-male homosexuality, lesbianism is NOT mentioned.

In the Old Testament, anyway. I know too little about the NT to speak on it.

Regardless, though, it has never been man’s place to decide for God what God wants and will accept. If we are all made in God’s image, then so too were homosexuals. To presume that you can speak for God is an act of arrogance that runs counter to everything that is taught in Western religions.

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ashley April 14, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Two of my friends, raised by lesbian parents. Amazing people, not gay themselves…although it would be okay if they were. Not everyone is religious, so do not try and force your views. I have freedom from religion, and so does everyone else. Not to say people who are homosexual can’t be religious, because they can. But for me, your comment was completely useless and ignorant. I believe that god is not real, and the bible will have no say on what I do and who I love.

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Emmanuel December 7, 2010 at 9:08 am

Being guy or not is a personal issue that should not push you back from acquiring you educational standard. I think we should stop digging into people’s personal life and if we do, then one day our names, the way we dress or eat, and the way we speak is going to determine our destiny.

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Rebecca December 7, 2010 at 9:09 am

As a fellow armchair psychologist, I think you’ve got this one right, Josh.

As a mom of a theatre major, I have come to realize that theatre folks are the most unique and diverse group of folks EVER. And, they’re all pretty much “take me as I am” kinda folks. And, they’re also “I love you for who you are” type of folks. And, “Hey, do what works for you!” kinda folks.

I say go with it, because it’s real and tangible to your success @ grad school. You’re not saying Woe is me, I’m a lesbian, give me money. You’re talking about overcoming adversity. Demonstrate that you can and did, with grace and professionalism I’d say you’ve got a winner!

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Jane December 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

I say you should go for it, but cautiously. If it is the best example in your life and you used your triumph to lead and help others, or improve your quality of life significantly; then do it. But you should also be careful. Make sure the essay doesn?t scream ?you should hire me because I?m gay? but, ? you should hire me because I can overcome people being insensitive and help others learn to do the same.?

I would also recommend showing that it is only one aspect of your life. If they see in your paper that you are a well-rounded individual, not some crazy fundamentalist person who will only talk about the one thing, then they will probably hire you or give you the internship. This goes for anything that could become a cause. For example, I had one professor who only talked about being a cancer survivor, and doing stuff for cancer research. As glad as everyone was that she survived cancer (like 5 years ago), we were not in the class to learn about surviving cancer, we were in the class to learn about German grammar. It annoyed everyone, including her coworkers and grad students.

So long as you present it right, you should be good. Good luck.

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David December 7, 2010 at 9:56 am

Never stop being who you are, for if and when when you do, you’re likely to give up certain freedoms. If one is not true to oneself, how can one be true to others. If you are comfortable in your own skin, good for you. Writing about your life and your experiences, may very well open the doors for others.

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grinwithin December 7, 2010 at 10:21 am

Even by today’s acceptance of alternative lifesyles, you have to be careful ho wyou approach the topic and make sure you are writing in context.

Many moons ago, back in the early 90’s I worked for an up and coming infertility clinic. I met with a lot of gay/lesbian couples for financial counseling. What I learned was that most of the couples coming for infertility treatments, or to produce a child was more interested in the political statement of their rights rather than how it would enhance their partnership or what a child would mean to them.

I new another gay couple that wound up adopting a little girl in early 2000 and what bothered me was that they would take this infant on protest rallies in her stroller “I have two daddies” to use that child as their political statement. These rally’s can become quite the adventure with crowds and they were not thinking of the infant’s safety or well being in this particular case.

Make sure you are doing the paper for the right reasons and approaching it from the right angle. Keep away from the perception of pushing a political agenda and you should be OK.

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Never hide who you are December 7, 2010 at 10:28 am

Never be ashamed of who you are! People are complainers and you have people who talk about others no-matter what sexual orientation they maybe. There are gay liesban sites that you can use for your advantage.

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Ikake December 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

the best thing to do is repent first after that you apply whatever you want, i can assure you that you will get it but for now don’t even mention it because it sound crazy.

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Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

So I just wrote a long and articulate reply and I was told it was spammy. Then your website deleted it.

Since I refuse to write it again, I’m just going to say that if you want people to give good responses, don’t expect everyone to do so in a handful of sentences. Not every argument can be reduced to such.

And not every long post is spam.

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Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Oh please, could you imagine if i wrote an essay about how I ( a tall white man ) wants to have sex with women.

bunch of crap

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Anonymous December 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Oh, I’d love to read that essay. I think it deserves to win scholarships, how unique and inspiring you are!

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Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I think it would be a great idea. Since it will reflect your personal life, I say go for it.

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Jason December 8, 2010 at 2:52 am

Bah!

If they they’re going to discriminate, you don’t need their money anyways!

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Bernard Smith December 8, 2010 at 6:45 am

As we know homosexual activity is a deviant behavior. It is not a natural state according to scripture (Romans 1st chapter) READ IT!!! Through out our history, many empires have been destroyed because the people pulled away from God and His way of living and chose a deviant way. If we pay attention to what’s happened in our school systems across the country we can see that when we allowed those in power to take prayer out of our schools and subsequently removing the protection of God over our children our schools became places of all sorts of crime that was not there before. Now the powers that be are trying to sell us on a deviant behavior which will open a Pandora’s box of deviant activities. I call upon the True Christian to make their voices heard on not only this issue but as many as you can. This is the work of the church and the Will of God.
THE HARVEST IS PLENTY BUT THE WORKERS ARE FEW!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous December 9, 2010 at 10:30 am

Except not everyone in the world believes in your scripture, bud. If I told you to read the Bhagavad Gita, you could read it till the cows come home and it wouldn’t change your beliefs. If you can’t be tolerant of lifestyles/beliefs other than your own, then at least keep your intolerance to yourself.

Victoria: I say go for it. I have a few friends who are active members of the LGBT community, and they worry about the same thing. But it sounds like your experiences are certainly relevant to the question, and it wouldn’t make sense to hide who you are.

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Anonymous December 8, 2010 at 10:04 am

I am disappointed by the lack of considerate advice in some of the aforementioned responses.

Victoria, I suggest you write the scholarship/application essays with quality responses that fully address the provided topic. If writing about your experiences as a lesbian is going to give you the best shot of winning the scholarship or gaining admission, than go for it – I will be right there with you!

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Corri December 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

You know what, first off, ignore the bible thumpers here, because your essay has NOTHING at all to do with religion it has to do with leadership. To back down is almost like saying you can’t be a leader, because you fear those who may reject you. I’m not saying throw it in their faces, but the fact that your situation to become a leader is directly related to your sexual orientation (what could be more personal than that?) you might as well just write the best darn essay ever and show it to them. Show them why you’re such a great leader, because fear isn’t on that list of traits. You can do it and I don’t see you getting rejected. They’ll probably be that much more impressed that you stood up for yourself at that time and e ven more so, because you had the courage to write it in to them. Go for it!

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Spencer December 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Who wants to know about your sexual orientation anyway?

Just make sure they aren’t Christian!

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Nat December 9, 2010 at 1:12 am

I’m with Corri – ignore the people who base their lives on hardcore faith and not hardcore fact. Faith doesn’t run the economy and faith doesn’t keep the transit systems running. More jobs are related to fact than faith (and THAT is a fact you can take to the bank).

Being a leader means making waves. It means pushing through in the face of adversity. if this doesn’t qualify you as a leader, nothing will. If the panelists reading your response see that you’re a firework (in a good way), they’re bound to remember you.

I also agree, however, that you shouldn’t appear to be pushing an agenda, so be keen on your wording and get someone to review your response and check for excess perceived abrasiveness.

If they deny you the money or position based on your orientation, it’s probably better that you not work for them or their money at all!

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Paul Saltz December 9, 2010 at 10:29 am

I would definately come out in the essay. Speaking as one who actually won a $2,000.00 scholarship for being Gay and doing advocacy work in that area (Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Generation Equality Scholarship) I definately think that its worth it!

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Kaikea December 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Hey, I think you should DO IT!

For two reasons, the first is the one Josh has so eloquently written on and the the second is because homophobia partly exists because so few people are willing to risk being out there. In addition to his point about this being an “easy audience” for you, I think the more educated people are (IE: University Staff and academic recourse people) the more liberal you generally become. Because University is a typically liberal place I think you’ll be pretty safe–for the comment about legal issues no, they can’t deny you that based on your orientation but they could very well find loopholes and other ways to do this if they really were, like suddenly feeling that the “essay dosn’t flow” right for them or some other vague complaint– this might be typical in really closed places. Also, I think lesbians/bisexuals/crossdressing women have a bit of an easier time than their biologically male counterparts who tend to suffer more discrimination (at least in the U.S.) so, it’s unlikely–thought still possible– that you would face discrimination at the University level. And if you do… do you really want to go to school there? 😉

Be yourself, as a leader in your community, I think you’ll feel more successful by being true to yourself and might even help more people become more sensitive and aware of this demographic by writing that essay.

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Scout May 31, 2011 at 8:25 am

By “crossdressing women” do you mean transgender women? If so, the latter is probably a better phrase to use. Crossdressing women implies a woman who fully identifies as a woman, but enjoys dressing in men’s clothing in some aspects of her life. Just an FYI. (:

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Christina December 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I am a Christian, alot of Christians are against being gay, like myself, but if we want to follow in Jesus foot steps we must love everybody no matter what, and leave the final judging of humankind by God.

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Kelly December 14, 2010 at 3:21 am

Christina – What did this add to the conversation? How in the world does that answer the question or address the topic in any way? Your brand of “i’ll leave my bigotry to God” is the most insidious type. You try to appear tolerant, and act like Jesus, but you sneak a backhanded insult or threat under the name of god. God is not yours to use as a weapon.

Victoria – Go for it! Like most LGBT youth/adults, you have no doubt had to come out on a nearly daily basis… defending your identity and standing strong in the face of religious fanatics and conservative ideologies your whole life. You have had to forge your own identity given the lack of good LGBT role models in the public media. You have listened to your heart in spite of negative perceptions and misconceptions. Being openly gay means that, by default, you are a strong and spirited person. You make your own decisions based on what is right for you, not based on what others tell you is “right” or “normal” or “acceptable.” Let me tell you: You are right, normal and acceptable. Keep on fighting through the objections… the world is changing, and whether or not you are an “activist,” your simple existence is facilitating that change. Cheers to you!

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Devon January 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Kelly- While many would raise their eyebrows at Christina’s comment, I think her point was that even if people, like Christians, were to discriminate against Victoria because she was gay, they would remind themselves to try not to judge because they should love everyone as their God says. Therefore, Victoria wouldn’t/shouldn’t face that much discrimination from the Christian front. The point is valid, even if the delivery was disturbing.

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Anirban Shaw December 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

i think if you put that in a positive manner, it will help you. For example if you had to overcome obstacles because of the fact that you are gay or if you were denied certain privileges because of being gay and how you overcame that. I think if your essays correspond to anything positive with a positive impact on you, I think adcoms will like you essays.

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Anna January 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I agree with those who say it matters most whether it’s relevant to the scholarship question or not. Yes, you might get some homophobic backlash – but judging by the comments on this thread those people are firmly in the minority. I would say leave it in because it makes you stand out a little more from the crowd in describing your personal circumstances.

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sid January 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

If its pertinent to your situation; how it has shaped you(your choice of program and life goals) defitnely you shpuld say so, discrimination happens everywhere sadly, the hell with it, don’t let negative thoughts stop you when applying to schloarships, its part of who you are, just make sure that when you mention your sexual orientation you do it for the right reasons, because you want to and will make your application more original, not because you feel the need to do so because youre sexual orientation is yours, you should be proud of whatever you are not feel like youre sexual orientation will be a hindrance

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cecil January 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm

one, its “never” ok to lie,,,, two,,, she’s got a problem with her choice of lifestyles then she should get her head straight,,,, simple as that.

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Me March 27, 2011 at 5:03 am

Oh please. In my experience the more you can make yourself out to be a minority- the more rewards will just get handed to you. When my high school was handing out scholarships they certainty didn’t go to me- the white, straight, female with an exceptional GPA and a slew of extra extracurriculars. Oh, goodness no. I was white. I’ve apparently already had every advantage in life. Instead, they gave it to a Mexican girl. The only ‘extra curricular’ she did was choir (does that count since it’s a class?). She had an extraordinarily LOW GPA…didn’t earn any honors…but hey! She was a gay mexican. Definitely needed all that money to pay for community college more so than I did to pay for a university. Excuse me if I sound a tad bitter.

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Tawny July 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I suggest you use it to your advantage. I’m bisexual and when applying for my scholarships and such, I used that to my advantage. And it works. The world is slowly changing to accept us, so go for it. Don’t be afraid.

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nadia July 31, 2011 at 11:39 am

hello, I think you should go ahead and tell the truth, besides the fact that lying is not ok, they will eventually find out, its a small world.

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