Writings of Former Queer Scholars

The authors of many of the essays submitted in The QF's fourteen annual High School Seniors English Essay Contests have graciously allowed The QF to post their work on the Internet for the benefit of LGBTQA students around the world. These essays are no longer accessible via the Queer Foundation website. The website will be taken down in 2020; however, historical copies of the website (http://queerfoundation.org) may be found at the website of the Internet Archives. Should you wish to use a quote from an essay found in the Internet Archives, please respect the rights of the author and obtain their written permission to do so.

We are confident these essays have greatly benefited those members of the LGBTQA community who have read them online. In hopes of their continuing to be available after the Queer Foundation website disappears, we have reached out to the authors to inform them of a generous offer made by Oregon State University Queer Archives. OSQA will provide public access to the essays whose authors wish to have them preserved in the archives. We expect a percentage of the authors will take advantage of this free service, though we are not able to estimate how high that percentage may turn out to be.

Queer Foundation humbly acknowledges that none of this would be possible without the hard work of these courageous young writers, and also their mentors - both teachers and counselors - and the supporters of Queer Foundation these last fourteen years.

Joseph Dial, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the former Queer Foundation

Essays are the intellectual property of their authors. Please seek permission from the author should you desire to quote from their work.



Drew Adams
University of Central Florida
"From Queer to There: Words to My Younger Self"

Sydney Lemire
Cazenovia College
"We're Not Safe Just Yet"

Casper Muessigmann
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
"He smelled like expensive cologne, cigarettes, and leather"



Alexander Gallagher
Bennington College
"Eighteen Ways We Love To Wrestle"

Oz Johnson-Congleton
Vassar College
"It goes like this"

Mincheol Park
University of Southern California
"The room is filled to the brim"



Madison Aurnou
University of Virginia
"This Is a Love Letter"

Zoe Bauer
Pomona College
"Rainbow Flag Unfurled"
"I am a man/woman who: Gender and identity in language"

Joshua Dixon
Institute of American Indian Arts
"Beyond Words Spoken; the Nádleeh of the Navajo"

Elías Galvez-Arango
Stanford University
"Night, Owl"

James Manley
Emerson College
"Reaching for Something"

Elijah Punzal
University of California, Irvine
"Wash Cycle"
"An Interview with a Poet"



Helen Guo
Pomona College

Ella Murray
Oberlin College
"I Discovered I Was Not Gay When, in Fifth Grade, Jack Held My Hand"

Jason Quackenbush
Rider University
"With Two Inches of Makeup Caked onto Your Face"



John Fritz
University of Oregon
"Where Is Your Happy Place?"

Rachel Szpara
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
"Dirt with Dirt"

Lily Zacharias
Bard College
"LGBTQAA: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual, and Alcoholism"



Andrew Gregory
The Evergreen State College
"The Most Concerning Issue in the Queer Community"

Kiersten Hall
University of West Florida

Chris Klein
Queer Scholar without Stipend
Hamilton College
"I Wish I Could Have Saved Him"

Skailer Rei Qvistgaard
Boston University
"For the Love of a Son"
"Gender Bias Among the 'Unbiased'"
"Marred by Bigotry"

Javon J. Smith
DePaul University
"Define Better"
"Division 10"
"My Dangerous Life in the Murder Capital OR Finding Me"
"To Tell the Truth"

Maximus Yearian
University of California, Berkeley
"Ignorance Never Brought Me Bliss"



Daniel A. Carriveau
Lakeland College -Sheboygan
"Gays in Fraternities"
"Never Give Up"
"Never Quit—Heteros vs. Homos: Acceptance"

Natalie Marie Garcia
Colorado State University
"Girls & Girls"

Kathleen Kinlin
Columbia College Chicago

Skailer Rei Qvistgaard
Boston University
"Beauty and the Beast: Female Freedom Examined"
"Crashes into Space"
"Wrapping Paper"

Javon Smith
DePaul University
"Democracy or Phallocracy: Marginalization, Communication, and Misconception of Transgendered Identity"
"Flies Don't Enter a Closed Mouth: A Compilation of Lyric and Narrative Poetry inspired by LGBTQA Activists and Authors before me"
"His Story Yet Unspoken/Broken Ears: My Discovery of Queer Pioneers"

Ciara Suggs
Front Range Community College, Westminster, CO

Zachery Taylor
University of Chicago
"Mirror, Mirror on the Wall"



Sophia Deady
Smith College
"A Woman Like Me"

Anthony Gómez
Pomona College
"Right Now"

Brandon Lambert
Point Park University
"A Little Wish"

Sadie McCarney
Goddard College
"Was Blind"

Alan Quinn
New York University
"What I Know Now"

Skailer Qvistgaard
Boston University
"Now I Am Skailer"

Javon Smith
DePaul University
"My Life as a Tragic Drag"
"Niggot: A Poem on Jesus's Log/Splinter Parable"
"To Sin as a Sinner, to Pray as a Prayer"



Sarah Derheim
University of Michigan
"The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow"

Anthony Gómez
Pomona College
"A Letter to You"

Lisa Hurwitz
The Evergreen State College
"D A D A - D A N C I N G: An Introduction to 'Single Ladies'"

Brandon Lambert
Point Park University
"Bisexuality Exists"

Abbey Muzatko
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
"I Refuse Black and Blue"

Javon Smith
DePaul University
"The Battle of Lexington"
"Niggot: The Misconceptualization of Homosexuality in the Black Church"
"Righteous Rage"

Ericka Sokolower-Shain
Wesleyan University
"Excerpt from a Memoir"



Brandon Lambert
Point Park University
"Composing a Queer, Beautiful Future"

Sadie McCarney
Queer Scholar without Stipend
"Pansies in Print: Queer Literature, Social Identity, and the Definition of Community"

Jesus Zuniga
University of California, Santa Cruz



Jade Donigan
Portland Community College
"Strength in the Snake-pit: Defining the Gay Lifestyle"

Hannah Kapp-Klote
Grinnell College
"LGBTILOL: Queer Youth and the Rise of Technology"

Calen P. Winn
Western Washington University
"A Routine Performance: One Young Queer's Journey to Identity on Liberal but Naive Vashon Island"



Christopher Chavez
University of Chicago
"In or Out"

Geoffrey Mino
Brown University
"New Youth Rising"

Ericka Sokolower-Shain
Wesleyan University
"Beyond the Line"



Zachary Harrington
St.John's College
"Fairy Tales"

Michael O'Brien
Temple University



Jason Brown
San Francisco State University
"Magic Mirrors"

Julianne Maynus
Rhode Island College
"Tens of Thousands of Queer Homeless Teens"

Scarlett Sieber
Fordham University
"Awareness Will Allow Peace of Mind, Body, and Spirit"


For information about the Queer Foundation Effective Writing and Scholarships Program, click on Scholarships (to the left above).