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'Being gay was never a very big deal' - Common App Essay on Coming Out

jackwhite77 1 / 3  
Dec 31, 2011   #1
Would anyone like to give me their initial thoughts from reading my essay. This is a draft of my main common app essay. Does it seem original or at least interesting? Its about 670 words atm....

Being gay was never a very big deal to me. That fact alone should have made the decision to come out to my mother relatively easy. In retrospect, however, easy is definitely not the word that I would use. No matter how comfortable I am with my own sexuality, it doesn't change two things: my mother is one of my best friends and she is the pastor of a large African American church. Growing up as a "Preacher's Kid" automatically exposed me to a certain level of dysfunction, but I never imagined that my personal life could potentially bring controversy into my home. As I child, I knew that gay people existed in the world and by the time I realized that I was gay, I knew that the people in my world were generally not approving of such things. For whatever reason, I simply accepted my homosexuality with little internal conflict. If anything, I felt as if it was some kind of cosmic irony that I would be born to a woman called to fight against the sin that had supposedly overtaken me.

At first I found it painless to ignore my sexuality for the sake of maintaining my relationship with mother. I decided that I would just never tell her about that part of my life and that if she ever found out it would be my fault. As I progressed through my sophomore year of high school, however, I realized that I wanted to date and be around people that were like me and to explore that part of my life. Finding myself faced with two opposing desires, I began to weigh my options. I could do nothing and likely be miserable, I could sneakily begin to date, or I could openly explain to my mother what was going on in my life. The latter seemed to be the most appealing, and the most selfish. I was certain that my mother would feel like a failure and be afraid of the backlash from people in the community if they were to find out. Whatever token of happiness that I would gain from telling her was surely not worth her stress so I continued to ignore the rainbow elephant in the room as I went about my days.

It wasn't until my mom told me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer that I again revisited my decision. Given our family history, I knew that I needed to take her condition seriously. As I sat across from my mother during a routine chemotherapy treatment I told her that I needed to divulge something to her because I never wanted either of us to say that we weren't honest with each other when we had the chance. As I explained to her she cried and said that she always wondered but would never have asked. Never one to sugarcoat things, my mother also said that while she doesn't support homosexuality she would never want anything but happiness for me.

Since then, my mother continues to battle her illness and I continue to adjust to the world as a young gay man. She continues to be with me every step of the way despite her spiritual concerns. She says I have taught her that faith isn't black and white. I have come to understand that my personal happiness cannot be manipulated by fear. My biggest anxiety was that my homosexuality would bring turmoil to my mom's life; as it turned out, disease actually caused her far more pain. In my mind, it would have been more foolish to let my mother die without knowing the truth than to potentially cause a church controversy. My mother and I often have disagreements about my lifestyle and how it will impact my future but I would rather fight about it every day than to have kept it a secret all this time. As odd as it sounds, I have found happiness in the strength to sometimes put the happiness of others aside.
OP jackwhite77 1 / 3  
Dec 31, 2011   #2
Also if I should go more in depth with anything or cut anything out...thanks!
shayshay3194 5 / 9  
Dec 31, 2011   #3
To lower your word count, I would shorten the second paragraph. I would take out the part where you weigh your options, and just get to the hard facts: At first you were fine keeping it a secret, but eventually you wanted to worry about your own happiness. Turmoil over the consequences for your mother, however, forced you to keep the secret.

If you do change the second paragraph, I would try to keep the last sentence. Simply because I like the imagery and it adds to your writing style.

"My biggest anxiety was that my homosexuality would bring turmoil to my mom's life; as it turned out, disease actually caused her far more pain." <-- I would just cut out that sentence.

I think your topic is original & that your essay is off to a good start!
I hope my comments helped.

If you get the chance, could you look at my Common App Short Response? Thanks!
OP jackwhite77 1 / 3  
Dec 31, 2011   #4
anyone else....I will review others essays

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