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Freshman wants to let (potentially) gay roommate know he’s supportive

Dear Harlan: I’m a freshman in college living with a random roommate. I can tell my roommate is gay. I can tell from his posts on Instagram and his secret life when it comes to going out with friends. I want to say that I’m cool with this, but I also don’t want to make him uncomfortable. For some reason, watching him hide this from me really bothers me. I had gay friends in high school. It doesn’t change a thing for me. I’d be happier if he felt comfortable enough to talk to me. How can I say something to him without making this awkward? Should I just go along with his secret life and let it go? I want to let him know he can come out.

— Secretly Supportive

Dear Secretly Supportive:  Unfortunately, you’re not in charge of when, where, how or if he shares his sexual orientation. It’s not part of the roommate agreement. Your only job is to coexist with him and let him share whatever he wants to share whenever he wants to share it. If you want to make it comfortable for him to be himself, introduce him to your friends, invite him to do things with you and be a friend. Form a trusting relationship. Have him see that you are accepting and inclusive by how you live your life. Over time, you might find out he’s gay, not gay, bi, pansexual or figuring it out. Let him decide where, when and how to share his sexual orientation. It’s not your job.

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