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“recently decided that i like girls and wouldn't mind waking up next to a total cutie, but officially i'm still in the undecided column. in three weeks i'm moving away to college and will be sharing a closet sized dorm with my straight roommate whom i have never meet in person. i kinda feel like i want to be sure of myself before i say anything but i also feel like i don't want her to think that i was hiding something from her if it comes up later... what is the proper roommate etiquette in this situation? am i instore for a polite heads-up? if so how do you think i should go about it?”

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

Kristin told me a really good story about this, and for a second I thought it was my story and almost told it. whoops. ANYWAY. I’ve always been extremely private with my feelings. Until recently it took a lot for ANYONE to know what I was thinking. When I first liked a girl, and she kissed my mouth, then slept over, then left in the am, I didn’t say anything. My arch nemesis, who is now one of my greatest friends was like ‘did FANCYTOWN* just leave?” and i was like “yea” and she was like “what did you do” and I was like “uhmmm, nothing?” and my face turned bright red. SOOOO, sometimes you give yourself away without knowing.

Chances are your roommate will be like ‘so, do you have a boyfriend’ and you can use that opp to be like “no, but like, just so you know, i might date a girl, and I don’t want that to weird you out or be a surprise.” Chances are she’ll be like ‘oh it’s cool, i totally don’t care’ and it won’t be awkward at all and you’ll be like “MAN I SURE DO LOVE EVERYONEISGAY.COM” and you’ll make a big sign for us to put in your dorm.

*name has been changed to something that will hopefully make everyone LOL

Kristin Says:

In my freshman year of college I was placed in a dorm-room made for two, with two other girls. “Tripled in a Double,” so to speak. There was one set of bunk beds and a single bed, two dressers, two desks, and just enough floor space to fit my trampoline. It is possible that I fell into my roommates’ good graces by bringing a small floor trampoline to share, so perhaps you should start there.

For the first closeted month of living together, my roommates made fun of me constantly for what they called my “Wall of Girl” (my entire section of wall was covered in pictures of Tori Amos, Ani Difranco and Liv Tyler…shut up). I revealed nothing, though, and they never asked about specifics. I also made out with boys at bars just like they did, so I am pretty sure I had confused everyone. Since I didn’t have a girlfriend at the time, there was nothing concrete for me to tell them, you know?

One night we were all in our respective beds (to be fair, all three of us spent nearly all day, every day in our beds watching television, so this may not have even occurred in the evening), and I was, as usual, plotting how best to reveal my secret identity without making them think that I had been ogling their bra straps when they weren’t looking. Roommate One got out of her bed to brush her teeth in the hall bathroom. Then, some version of the following dialogue occurred:

Roommate Two: You have so many girls on your wall.

Me: I like girls. {long pause} I’m gay.

{Roommate One saunters back in with her toothbrush hanging out of her mouth}

Roommate Two: Roommate One! Kristin is totally gay!


{We all laugh hysterically}

My point is this: There is absolutely no etiquette for telling your roommates that you are gay. There is no reason to scream, “HI, NICE TO MEET YOU, I LIKE BOOBS” when you first meet them. The best thing to do is be totally open about it when the discussions about dating/hooking up/etc arise; the more open and comfortable you are, the better it will be for everyone. HOWEVER, if you wait a month and tell one roommate awkwardly while the other is brushing her teeth, chances are it will still all be fine as long as you bring a trampoline.


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