Once my roommate and I had our conversation about his sexuality, we were then able to communicate about the matter like two adult human beings. My roommate had been so nervous about someone finding out that he was gay, that he became very emotional while talking to me about it. I told him I did not have a problem with him being gay, and I was not going to criticize him for it. Still, he told me that he was about to cry. It was completely alien to me to hear a grown man say he is about to cry. I tried to act as my natural, socially awkward self and responded by saying, “Well, I don’t see how that’s going to help… but if you want to, go ahead. I won’t stop you.” As dumb as what I said was, he realized that it was my typical stupidity speaking, and I was not trying to sugarcoat things by pretending I was used to being around gay men that cry randomly. He then stated that he did not want me to change the way I talk or hide the things I say around him. Just like how I talked about how I thought the crying was strange, he wanted me to be able to speak openly around him, without having to worry about how he would react. And I certainly did.
For a while, he seemed a little hesitant about speaking openly himself, but I refused to allow it. I thought his nervousness about being gay and trying to hide it from everyone was rather annoying. I preferred for him to just be honest about it. One day, when he came home from class, he told me he had bumped into a really attractive person. Then he said, “I was so nervous because this girl was sooo pretty.” I laughed, then said, “You mean, ‘dude’… cause you’re gay. C’mon, man. It is way too late to still be trying to hide it.” As rude as my response may have sounded, and as I had hoped, he was not offended. He was so used to pretending that he was not interested in men, that it had become habitual for him to talk about men while saying, “women.” He was just glad that I was being so straightforward rather than trying to ignore it because it allowed him to finally speak honestly. Over time, the awkwardness left and everything worked out well for the both of us. Well… almost.
There were a couple times when he came into the dorm room looking distressed and emotionally a wreck. The first thing he would say is, “Cameron, I just need to talk to you about feelings and emotions.” Now, I’m sure this is the same for every straight male, but the last thing I want to talk about, especially when talking to another adult male, is feelings and emotions. The only thing I could come up with was, “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather talk about something else, like… I don’t know, gay butt sex. I’d rather talk about gay butt sex than feelings and emotions.” Unfortunately, I did not have the guts to say that to him. Instead I would just stand there blankly until he would say, “You don’t have to respond or anything, I just need to vent.” And he would. I would continue to just stand there… staring at the wall… wondering how this could be happening to me. I would start to think, “He is like a women, except slightly more reasonable in that he at least realizes I shouldn’t have to respond.” But it would eventually end. It was the only time I really did not care to be around him, but since it only happened two or three times, I managed to survive and still enjoy my life. Overall, we made decent roommates.