How to Handle a Gay Roommate

A couple of weeks ago, I saw quite a few tweets like this one:

I would screenshot an actual tweet I saw, but I feel like that might be a little overboard, even if I did blur the person’s name. Hopefully no one thinks I’m homophobic…

I can see why someone would fear having a gay roommate. He might be scared of being checked out or that his roommate may come on to him. He could be afraid that his roommate will let his lust loose at night and attack him while he’s sleeping. I understand all of the stereotypical reasons why someone would be scared of a gay roommate.

Allow me to offer reassurance. If you’re the type of guy who who believes that your roommate will check you out or fall in love with you just because he’s gay, let me tell you one thing: no one will check you out or fall in love with you, because ignorance is more unattractive than a dead platypus covered in human pus.

There’s this weird stereotype that gay people, whether gay or straight, will immediately be attracted to any individual of their same sex. Like, because I’m gay, I’d immediately be attracted to some random guy walking down the street. And this is one of the most offensive stereotypes in existence, because it perpetuates a double standard that many people don’t even see. If a straight male were to see a female, that straight male would not automatically be attracted to her or fall in love with her. If a straight male were to sleep in the same room as a female, one cannot assume that he would rape her solely based on his sexuality.

You know, I’m not exactly sure what the intended effect of this comic is. Just know that wearing the same shirt as another person does not make you attracted to them.

What is the purpose of having a roommate in the first place? Is it not to have someone to help you throughout your time at university? Shouldn’t your roommate be someone who you can communicate with, someone who you can talk to about things, and someone who you share certain beliefs with? If that’s the case, why does the sexuality of your roommate matter anyway? I’d be much more curious in things like their tendency to snore, their taste in music, whether they smoke or not, or if they party all the time. Things that would actually affect my relationship with him, as opposed to who he’s attracted to.

If all of this still isn’t enough for you, you can always assume the role of a normal human being and talk to your roommate. You can tell your roommate that you are not interested in men (or women, if she is a lesbian) and express your concerns. They may be offended that you assumed they would come on to you, but I think they would understand and respect your wishes – even if they had no desire for you initially.

You may think that I have no experience in this type of ordeal because I’m a senior in high school, but I did stay at a college campus for a month over the summer with a roommate. He was an extremely talented saxophone player, and he was also super smart with a penchant for math and science. And, yes, he was straight. About after a week and a half into the program, I came out to him, and guess  what – he didn’t care. We played board games, ate junk food, and stayed up until midnight talking about random stuff. I miss him, as well as all of the other friends I made there.

My roommate and me! We are both Asian, as you can see.

To sum up this post, before you say something stupid like “I hope my roommate isn’t gay,” please consider that every gay guy alive would rather live alone that with an uneducated bigot. I hope you all have had a wonderful week, and will continue to spread love wherever you go!

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24 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society

24 responses to “How to Handle a Gay Roommate

  1. Five words to describe what I feel after reading this post: Amen, Thomas. I love you.

  2. Elaine

    “…because ignorance is more unattractive than a dead platypus covered in human puss.”

    YES /applauds. Fantastic post, yet again. And have to admire the time you put into it – the best I could have mustered is, “And here’s hoping my roommate isn’t an idiot.”

    • Thanks Elaine! Yeah, I tried to cover all the bases in this one. “And here’s hoping my roommate isn’t an idiot” is pretty much the concise version of this post.

  3. Thomas! You’re so insightful! I am seriously missing someone like you in my classes right now.

    • Thanks Roshni! I’m somewhat just stating the obvious, but I’m honored that you took the time to read and comment anyway. Perhaps we’ll end up at the same college. (:

  4. This post? Yes. Yes. YES. It should be put up on billboards.
    Everywhere.
    Really fantastic post Thomas! 😀

  5. Andreas

    Dang! I truly loved this post!!!! That’s all! 😀 because I’m gay, I’d immediately be attracted to some random guy walking down the street. That is so true!! 😀

  6. Eloquently put, as usual! I wholeheartedly agree.

  7. Pingback: Of Sexuality and Boy Scouts | the quiet voice

  8. sam

    Thomas you make me laugh! Not because of the subject matter, because reading this I can only think of all those amazing times at gov school! I totally agree with you in every respect of this post and I hope my roommate is half as amazingly, wonderfully intelligent and kind as you are! I miss you! Hope everything is going well!

    ~Samantha

    • Aw thank you for all the compliments Sam! I miss all of our gov school moments as well, but I’m so glad that we got to experience them and continue our friendship. I hope you’re also doing well and that you are able to solidify your college choice sometime in the near future!

  9. Mrs. Eady

    Hmmm….This reminds me of a quote from a certain epic novel:”Ignornace is the parent of fear.” Written in 1851, it still resonates today.
    On another note, sometimes roommates in college are just that-people with whom you share a room. My older daughter had a roommate who was just that…they didn’t share anything, didn’t do anything together, didn’t bond. But they also didn’t fight, gossip about each other, or have any other drama. My daughter was disappointed at first because she had all these expectations of a close relationship, but in the end it worked out…especially after she heard about the spiteful and mean things some of her friends went through at the hands of a roommate. Just my two cents…Mrs. Eady

    • Mrs. Eady, I reference that quote all the time! I think a myriad of people do when discussing various social issues, even if such people are unaware of what epic novel the quote comes from. (:

      Also, I don’t think that type of roommate is a bad thing, especially when compared to roommates who gossip or fight. I suppose people should keep their preconceived notions of what a roommate should be like at bay before going to college, because you never know who you’re going to get (unless you pick a roommate before actually attending).

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, it means a lot to me!

  10. owihefkjl

    I think the fear of a gay roommate stems from the possibility that he/she could be a sexual offender–as there are stories of gay sexual offending roommates (and often times they’re very horrific). Although it is very unlikely, however, the possibility is still there. Not every gay person has the righteous morals you have, and this applies to heterosexuals as well. Someone could feel uncomfortable with another person checking them out/if they were attracted to them. This is why many schools only allow people of the same sex to room with each other.

    • I understand the fear, but I think that it’s overstated – people may succumb to the availability heuristic and apply those few stories to every gay roommate. Furthermore, even if such schools only allow people of the same sex to room with each other, there are several cases of rape or assault within colleges; these things occur even in co-ed dorms. You’re right that these horrible things occur to and because of people of both sexualities. However, I think talking it out with your roommate and resolving conflict in a way that promotes understanding is the best possible solution, as opposed to generalizing or clashing with hate.

  11. Just another Closeted Lesbian at C-ville

    I cried. This is beautiful it means so much to me that you took the time to write this.

    • Aw, I’m glad that you can relate! I empathize with the whole “being in the closet at C-ville” phenomenon… don’t hesitate to message me if you want to talk!

  12. Aritra Sarkar

    The best blog post I have ever read. Love.

  13. Rick

    As a followup, how do your university roommates treat you? (email mistyped in previous post)

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