This essay, by Lucas Cohen-d’Arbeloff, age 17, from Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, is one of the Top 11 winners of The Learning Network’s Ninth Annual Student Editorial Contest, for which we received 16,664 entries.

We are publishing the work of all the winners and runners-up over the next week, and you can find them here as they post. How ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Diminishes Same-Sex Parents and Their Children As a rosy-cheeked nine-year-old, I beamed as I walked down a grassy aisle blanketed with flower petals.

Serving as a ring bearer for my two dads’ wedding in 2014, I had spent months crafting handmade ring pillows to celebrate my parents.