Coming out to my roomate

justAdude's picture

So I'm 18 and getting ready to head off to college, and start a new life partially on my own. I recently decided to go ahead and come out to some friends during my last year of high school right before school let out. So far the outcome is very good, and I haven't had any troubles or backlash from telling people. But in a few months, I will be meeting and moving in with my roommate for college, and I wanna know first whether or not I should tell him that I am gay. Second, I want to know how should I go about telling him. So far I know nothing about him except for the fact that he's from SC and he plays in the band/orchestra. After kinda embracing my sexuality in these past few months, I don't want to put myself back into the closet. I want to be open with my roommate, but I have no idea how he'll react.

elph's picture

Question Why He Needs To Know

It's great that you wish to be open with your roommate --- very likely your first roommate for any extended period.

Unless you plan on being widely recognized for being out and gay , I think it would probably be better that your new friends should first learn the other important aspects of who you are. Being gay is important, and although we're living in a much more understanding society than even a few years ago, it may be wise to "hold off" on outing yourself for at least a few weeks into the term. By then, you'll surely have developed a better sense of the social dynamics at your college.

Good luck as a freshman. I'm confident that you'll form many new friendships, some of whom will undoubtedly be gay (and you may initially not even suspect!).


jeff's picture


A lot of colleges have a system whereby you can contact them and say hi and such before you even get there. I know people have used that system before to come out, so that when they get to campus, it's done and IF that person has a problem with it, they can get themselves put in a different room. Much better to have it go that way than to be in a room with someone anti-gay, whether or not you're out to them...

If you did your research and know your college is already accepting, I'd just plan to be out from the first day. College has enough going on without worrying about all that drama. Plus, unlike high school, you can usually do your own thing a lot more. Don't get along with someone? Easy. Don't hang out with them.

"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

elph's picture

Alternatives, Alternatives: Which to Choose?

BTW, I forgot to say WELCOME for your first post on Oasis! And I'm sure many others will join in responding to your concern.

Jeff's response is much more "in tune" with current college culture. I do concede that I tend to be excessively cautious, and try to avoid imagined awkward consequences.

Whether you "do it" by e-mail or wait until you can be more personal, you've got the summer to collect advice: some good, and some not so good...

justAdude's picture

Thanks for the Welcome!

Yes, this is my first roommate for an extended amount of time. I am currently trying to get to know him better through e-mail until we are able to meet this summer, at orientation. He seems like a cool guy, but I have yet to reveal anything about his real character. My reasoning behind wanting to tell him though, is that I want to be able to be "myself" and be comfortable. I want to be able to have my bf over, or other gay friends, and be able to talk about "gay" things.

the ghost's picture

Hey there. Welcome to this

Hey there. Welcome to this oasis of calm =]. I think maybe just drop it in subtly to one of the emails that you have been exchanging. Like just something releating to being gay so you come out to him in not a big deal kind of way but it's out there. Most people don't seem to care anyways in my experience. Good luck =]

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent-Eleanor Roosevelt

ferrets's picture


if u dont come out to him, yuo will be in a constant state of lying to try and hide it. if u do come out, chances are it will be fine, but if he isnt, you could be in foor a bunch of narrowminded/stertypical thinking.

if you riases the banner of scotland, you raise the banner of freedom!
~willam wallace

jeff's picture

In College...

It works the other way around from high school. Typically, if someone anti-gay has a problem with a gay roommate, the anti-gay person gets a different room.

Also, anti-gay people tend to just not care about gay people, rather than go through any effort to say/do anything.

"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

Endymion's picture


Here's the story. I lived alone for a great part of this school term. I enjoyed the Freedom.and then there's this guy intending to transfer to my room,asked for my "permission". Well,hell,NO!! I actuelly,literally,and seriously told him that "I prefer males sexually" in order to hold off. Very unfortunately, my plan failed! But it seemed so far that i'm getting alone with him and a later move-in (well,i didn't tell him that i prefer living alone,one part coz i have no say,he just moved in without me being informed.another reason is that he's a Muslim and hopelessly in love).

elph's picture

...With Another Boy?

...he's a Muslim and hopelessly in love.

Apologies. I just couldn't resist!

dreamers imagine someday's picture

I came out to my roomie on

I came out to my roomie on coming out day. It was a wee bit awkward at first but she got over it. Of course she did get a curtain to go around her closet and changed behind it. But I had one I didn't take any offense to it.

"When you're a kid, they tell you it's all... grow up. Get a job. Get married. Get a house. Have a kid, and that's it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It's so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better. " Doctor Who

typicalmusician's picture

Well, I've been going to

Well, I've been going to all-girls' boarding school for 2 years now, and let me just say the climate towards real same-sex attraction (rather than just jokes among the majority of girls) is not exactly great. I chose not to come out to my roommate for most of the year b/c I was also having romantic troubles, and by the end of the year I hadn't really come up with a way to tell her I had a girlfriend. However, when we talked about rooming next year and basically decided we wanted to, I just shut the door and said "I think if you're going to live with me next year you should know that I'm bi, and I'm dating E." It took her a bit of talking around it to get everything clear, but she was fine, and life goes on. We're comfortable around each other, so it's not a big deal. However, I think bringing it up like it's no big deal is the key: if you don't make it a big deal, people SHOULD take their cues from you (serious homophobes excepted).

Just to throw one more thing out there...if you're not in a relationship, it would probably help to have met the guy just to make sure that if he asks, you can say "oh gosh no, I'm not interested in you!" and have it be the truth. And, most of all, don't inflate it too much in your mind. It's easy to expect a big deal and then be let down. And we're always here for you if something goes wrong. :)

oldfoxbob's picture

above all be honest

Be open to your self and friends, if your new roomie cant handle it he is free to seek another room and roomie, just as you are. You need not come right out and say...Hi I'm "just a dude" and I'm gay...but if he asks you then your honesty should be up front. Don't deny it, but don't volunteer it. That worked for me in School.

Genius is not a sign of intelligence, but rather
that of common sense. Humor is the best pain pill.

patnelsonchilds's picture

Well, most all avenues have

Well, most all avenues have been covered, but I agree with Jeff (God help me). Come out beforehand, so roomie can discreetly ask for another roommate if he feels uncomfortable. In most colleges, the onus is on the person with the problem to make other arrangements, and if that's what he wants, then it will save you both some awkwardness.

If he's cool with it, then no harm done. Maybe he'll be cute and curious. ;D


- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay & lesbian characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"