WAY OUT PARENTING: THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS ESSAY YOUR CHILD COULD WRITE ONE DAY

There are many practical reasons for your children to rejoice in the fact that they are Children of Gays (COGS), and college admissions is one of them.

While your children may be in diapers today, one day they will apply to college, and in the college admissions process, they—like all other applicants—are nothing more than commodities. They must sell themselves. And the admissions essay is their one opportunity to communicate their unique selling proposition—their platform.


Unless they are the flawed-yet-compelling works of a gang member turned high school valedictorian or a refugee with six menial jobs and a 3.5 GPA, these essays—regardless of how well written—are numbingly predictable and trite.

They paint unconvincing portraits of remarkable relatives who taught the applicants the value of perseverance, honesty, or one of the other six pillars of character education. Or they chronicle the applicants’ shallow perceptions standing in the serving line of a Saturday Kitchen (each weekend of their junior year when they finally realized a little community service work could provide essay fodder) trying to scoop vegetables onto homeless people’s plates while the homeless people dodged their station and beelined for the cookies and muffins.

Put yourself in the position of the college admissions counselor who has just read 180 essays on the same theme and faces the prospect of 220 more. Your eyes are blood shot. Your back is stiff. Your mind is in a trance. You begin to question your choice of career. You think, “This isn’t what I wanted to do anyway, is it? Why am I here? What is my life all about?”

Just when your thoughts are turning suicidal, you lift a COG’s essay from the top of the stack. “What relative will I have to read about this time?” you ask yourself listlessly. And then your eyes skim the first line. A little adrenaline courses through you. Your eyes widen. Never in your thirteen years as a college admissions officer have you read a lead sentence like this one. Lesbianism [Homosexuality]: How has it shaped my life, and how can it benefit the life of [insert college name] if you admit me to your undergraduate school of liberal arts? The essay continues: Like the great anthropologist Margaret Meade, I have lived among an alien tribe. I have observed their beliefs and customs and I bring extensive insights into their way of life. In a world that daily grows more diverse, I can help others with strategies to bridge the divide between our cultures.

Regardless of your COG’s writing style or skill, the mission will have been accomplished. The college admissions counselor is alert. His or her eyes move from the essay to the accompanying transcript. The application package is placed on the short stack of those that will get a second read. And at night, when the college admissions counselor has dinner with his or her spouse, the essay will be the topic of their conversation. Your COG’s odds of acceptance have just skyrocketed.

Coming soon: Part II of The Advantages of Being a Child of Gays.

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