GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
yes_please
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GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby yes_please » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:01 am

Ello.

I'm a gay Chinese male (which I don't think comes anywhere near qualifying me as URM), and I am still pretty closeted.

The summer before last though, I spent a lot of time talking on the phone with a guy, and my parents confronted me about whether or not I was gay. I told them I was.

This ended up causing a whole shitstorm of drama over the next year and a half, and though my parents didn't disown me or anything like that, it got pretty bad sometimes. My dad kept wondering what they had done wrong raising me, and my mom did a lot of crying. When they found out that I was into dating guys that were older than me, often twice my age, it got even worse. I received calls from my mom saying that she was thinking of suicide, and that she couldn't comprehend or accept what had happened.

In college, I still have never come out to any of my peers, and I'm not sure if I should write about any of this in my PS. It's certainly a dramatic and compelling personal story, but I can't think of a good way to spin this into a story of personal growth when I have yet to out myself to any friends. To add to all this, I found out that my only brother is also gay, but he has yet to come out to my parents.

Think there's any room in here to write a good PS or DS about? If so, what should I try to center the statement around? I've also had some neat experiences in my summer jobs/internships, and I'm involved in some extracurriculars, which includes being in my 7th year of mock trial this year, and my second year of being a team captain. Think there's a way to spin all of that in there?

Thanks for your two cents!

Edit: I also have a boyfriend who lives in Chicago half the year and California the other half. I've been interested in the issue of marriage equality, but I haven't really acted on that at all. Haven't joined activist groups or clubs or anything like that. Think I could write about gay marriage?
Last edited by yes_please on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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moonman157
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby moonman157 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:18 am

It's pretty tough to convince a school that you'll add to their diversity if you're not out of the closet yet. This isn't to say that you should come out yet- that's an extremely personal decision - but generally speaking, PS and DS about being LGBT discuss the internal struggles, perhaps family struggles, but always end on a happy note of being able to live openly and free, proud of who you are and helping to change the perceptions of people around you blah blah blah etc. I don't see how you could spin it to give law schools the impression that you'll want to give them. Sorry to hear about the negative reaction from your parents, I hope that they improve, and so does your situation. Best of luck!

B90
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby B90 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:31 am

First, breathe. As you may know, writing can be cathartic and therapeutic. Here is my advice: just start writing. Don't worry about labeling it as a PS or DS. Just write. When you get to the point where you have a semi-coherent collection of words, PM them to me.
Over two decades later, I am still mourning the needless, tragic suicide of my gay/straight/bi/poly uncle. Regardless of what label he chose (and he had more than one), he was a beautiful man who died way too young, leaving behind a daughter whom I have never met because her mother, my former aunt, is pure evil.

I agree with the above poster that this is difficult to "spin," but I suggest writing it out anyway. Once you do, you may find the basis for a DS. You may not. Keeping it hidden, whether in a bottle or a closet is NOT advisable. Just be mindful of how you share it and with whom. Seriously though, if you don't already have someone to talk to, I am here.

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:10 am

I would say no.

That is a very interesting story to tell, and I really feel for what you've had to go through, but I fear it will fall too much into the "woe is me" category. There will be a lot of reactive lamenting, and not enough proactive overcoming.

My personal rule when deciding whether to write a statement on a specific topic is whether I can integrate my directly relevant, proactive experience into my essay. This transforms it into a statement of "triumph" rather than "sorrow." You don't sound like you've done anything related to the LGBT community at all. Law schools are going to receive hundreds of applications from LGBT individuals who have joined protests, worked for human rights abroad, fought employment discrimination, spoken at LGBT events, done academic research on prejudice, etc. As someone who hasn't even come out, I don't know if your story could pack as much punch. Adcomms might think you're just "saying" without "showing."

If you are really convinced about writing this, why not try to focus your PS on all the other accomplishments you mentioned (like moot court), and say that you were able to push through despite your continuous struggles with your sexuality? Although I feel that would defeat the purpose of your diversity statement (since your sexuality would basically be a negative here), I feel it's the only way you can seem proactive about your situation.

yes_please
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby yes_please » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:10 pm

I have a pretty rough draft finished, and I'd really appreciate some feedback. I don't really want to just post it on here for anyone to see, though. Would anyone be willing to let me PM them my statement for a critique?

Thanks!

yes_please
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby yes_please » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:41 pm

Bumping to see if anyone's willing to help :D

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Jaqen
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby Jaqen » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:41 am

I'll take a look.

Sendou
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby Sendou » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:54 pm

I agree with some of the earlier posts. You have a very compelling story which can certainly word into a DS. Among other things, proving how you overcome and showing your growth regarding the situation is the main focus here. Best choice is to just start writing about it and an answer will definitely come to you.

B90
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby B90 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:55 pm

OP, I promise to get to your edit sometime tonight. I am away from my computer, and editing is near impossible on an ipad.

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halestorm
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby halestorm » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:54 pm

yes_please wrote:Bumping to see if anyone's willing to help :D


I'll look at it. I wrote my PS on my sexuality and how that affected my decision to go to law school, and I received tons of feedback from several professors at my school so maybe I'll have something interesting to say!

B90
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby B90 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:44 pm

Eeek! I just realized I never edited your newest PS. I am taking the next 36 hours off, but after that it's back to editing. Merry Christmas! (whether or not you celebrate it, have a great day) :mrgreen:

wifeofsamseaborn
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby wifeofsamseaborn » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:33 pm

Hi OP,

Not sure if I'm too late to the game here, but I actually think that there's potential for a compelling diversity statement here. As one of the previous posters mentioned, many LGBT stories center around a struggle, followed by a resolution of sorts, often in the form of coming out. But the LGBT experience itself is diverse and wide-ranging. Maybe you could reflect a little more on the effect your coming out had on your family (the pain it caused your parents is clear, but the issue of your brother not coming out is very interesting. Do you think he refrains from doing so because of how your experience went?). There is also the potential to tie this into a discussion of your cultural values. Do you feel like your identity as a Chinese male, which traditionally comes with a pressure to obey and defer to your parents' wishes, conflicts with your sexual identity? Are they at odds with each other? Perhaps your decision not to come out even further, to your friends and the public, is a result of this tension. I would be interested in reading this different perspective on both racial and sexual-orientation diversity, so if you approach it in an effective way, maybe an adcomm might too!

Best of luck, with this and beyond.

yes_please
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:53 pm

Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby yes_please » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:09 am

wifeofsamseaborn wrote:Hi OP,

Not sure if I'm too late to the game here, but I actually think that there's potential for a compelling diversity statement here. As one of the previous posters mentioned, many LGBT stories center around a struggle, followed by a resolution of sorts, often in the form of coming out. But the LGBT experience itself is diverse and wide-ranging. Maybe you could reflect a little more on the effect your coming out had on your family (the pain it caused your parents is clear, but the issue of your brother not coming out is very interesting. Do you think he refrains from doing so because of how your experience went?). There is also the potential to tie this into a discussion of your cultural values. Do you feel like your identity as a Chinese male, which traditionally comes with a pressure to obey and defer to your parents' wishes, conflicts with your sexual identity? Are they at odds with each other? Perhaps your decision not to come out even further, to your friends and the public, is a result of this tension. I would be interested in reading this different perspective on both racial and sexual-orientation diversity, so if you approach it in an effective way, maybe an adcomm might too!

Best of luck, with this and beyond.


You're not too late, I'm still putting around with the statement, and really unable to be satisfied with any version of it. Right now I've stuck in a lot of information about how I've participated in mock trial for 7 years, how it's made me a leader, interested in the law, yada yada, but I'm afraid it all seems a bit immature.

You've brought up a really good point that I've sort of completely avoided, which was talking about my cultural identity from growing up in a Chinese household. The problem is, I have been working on this as my personal statement, and I'm not sure what I should write as my personal statement otherwise.

I'm also a big gamer and a geek, but I'm not sure if there's any way to approach that in a personal statement without seeming like I'm falling into an unfavorable social archetype. I've heard a lot about how law schools want people with differing points of view, and I wondered if this was something that was at least somewhat unusual or unique among law school students. I'd imagine that not many of them are avid gamers, right?

I'd love any more ideas anyone has, and please PM me if you'd be willing to read a draft. Thanks!

Edit: Reread your response, and yes, my brother is probably very unlikely to come out any time soon, if ever, because of how poorly my experience went. What makes it worse were the statements my parents made that at least he would give them grandchildren, if not me.

B90
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby B90 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:20 pm

Both of you can give your parents grandchildren, if you so choose. That is, if you deem them worthy of grandparent status. :roll:

yes_please
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Re: GLBT Topic for PS? DS?

Postby yes_please » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:57 am

B90 wrote:Both of you can give your parents grandchildren, if you so choose. That is, if you deem them worthy of grandparent status. :roll:


Haha. Still, my parents really wouldn't think of anything less than biological children between a man and a wife to be true grandchildren. They're pretty traditional Chinese immigrants. Blah.




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