I had arrived at
Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches,
Texas, excited and enthused about my new independence and
all the good times coming my way. After four torturous
years of high school, I was now in my dorm room
unpacking. Then my roommate arrived, and what was
supposed to be one of the best experiences of my life became
I was wearing my
pride bracelets, as always, and I had put a few things
on the walls and desk that were important to me and brought
out my personality. When he saw them, it was instantly
clear that he was shaken by the fact that he was stuck
with a gay roommate.
never got any better. Over the next few weeks, we could
barely stand to be in the dorm room with each other. Our
complaints and pleas for a change turned into nothing;
the housing administration simply turned a deaf ear to
our requests. Soon it was just too much, and I decided
it was best to transfer to Austin Community College. I
needed to be in a more liberal environment where I
could be myself.
It was not fair
to him or to me to have our beliefs and sexuality clash
day after day. Sure, college is about trying new things,
being open to new ideas. But for some people there are
lines you can't cross. For the two of us, this
How did I get
into this mess? Simple. My college of choice didn't
allow me to indicate a preference for a gay roommate.
It could prevent a lot of grief if each college added
a couple of check boxes to dorm applications: Do you
want to disclose your orientation? Do you have a preference
regarding the orientation of your roommate? Some people
might answer no to both. But many others would welcome
the chance to answer those questions.
gay and college-bound, this is one more thing to consider as
you decide where to spend four of the most important years
of your life. If the school doesn't address the
issue as part of the roommate selection process, you
need to know that. And if it doesn't, ask why not.
The answer can tell you a lot about the