Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Should I Come Out to My Roommates?"

Bradley here. This week's topic is roommates, and although I'm not a college student at the moment, while I was, it was certainly tricky deciding whether or not to tell my roommates about my sexual orientation. This is mostly because we never know how they will react. For me, during my first semester at BYU, I just kindof got the feeling that my roommates would be cool with it, so I had no problem telling them. (Then again, I think it helped that I had my own private bedroom so we could all respect each other's privacy). The semester went along, no big deal. Even at BYU. The semester after that, I was with the same people, so there was no issue.

However, spring term was another story since I had to change rooms and live with two new roommates. It was a little scary at first, and I tested the waters with probing questions on gay issues (just to test how receptive they might be) and I just got the feeling that me coming out would not go over well with them. This time around, I was NOT in my own room, so I just didn't tell either of them. It wasn't too weird because we hardly talked about anything at all, let alone my sexual orientation.

Now however, I have left BYU altogether. From now on, I can expect to be open to anyone I live with without fearing how they might react to me coming out. I am living with a few friends who all knew about me long before I moved in, and all-in-all, I feel like life is going much better for me.

In general, I would only recommend coming out to your roommates if you have a good idea of where they stand on LGBT issues. Otherwise, who you choose to date on your own time is none of their business and you should feel no obligation to tell them if you don't feel comfortable doing so. As with coming out to anyone, only do it when you're ready and comfortable. If you feel like coming out would be a "Big Deal", then perhaps you shouldn't yet. In my experience, I could make it work either way.

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