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Potential housemates and disclosing sexual orientation

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kaz11 +

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Default Potential housemates and disclosing sexual orientation
Hi, this is the first time I've ventured out of the ladies lounge! I figured this wasn't a female specific issue though, so thought I'd post here.

So I am looking for a sharehouse to move into. I have a few places that I am checking out soon, and I am wondering whether I should disclose the fact that I am a lesbian at this point.

Until now, I had no idea that it would even be an issue, until I read a bunch of advertisements on a website that has 'preferred orientation' as a compulsory field. Somewhat disappointingly, about 70% of them only included 'straight'. So apparently people still give a crap about this stuff.

I feel like I shouldn't have to tell people because I'm a private person and I feel uncomfortable having to talk about my personal life with complete strangers, and quite frankly it's none of their business. Most of the places I'm looking at seem like everyone does their own thing, so I doubt we are going to have to be best friends or anything.

However, if I don't tell them and they find out later, which they probably will, if it turns out that they have a problem with it we may be stuck with an awkward living situation.

What are your thoughts?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kaz11 View Post

Hi, this is the first time I've ventured out of the ladies lounge! I figured this wasn't a female specific issue though, so thought I'd post here.

So I am looking for a sharehouse to move into. I have a few places that I am checking out soon, and I am wondering whether I should disclose the fact that I am a lesbian at this point.

Until now, I had no idea that it would even be an issue, until I read a bunch of advertisements on a website that has 'preferred orientation' as a compulsory field. Somewhat disappointingly, about 70% of them only included 'straight'. So apparently people still give a crap about this stuff.

I feel like I shouldn't have to tell people because I'm a private person and I feel uncomfortable having to talk about my personal life with complete strangers, and quite frankly it's none of their business. Most of the places I'm looking at seem like everyone does their own thing, so I doubt we are going to have to be best friends or anything.

However, if I don't tell them and they find out later, which they probably will, if it turns out that they have a problem with it we may be stuck with an awkward living situation.

What are your thoughts?

Kas I think you already know what to do, if they find out later its their problem, hopefully by then they would have seen that your a great person and it doesnt fucking matter one bit.
stephla +

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Just because people say they prefer straight people doesn't necessarily mean they would mind if you were not. You can probably to a certain extent tell whether people are bigots or likely to have a problem with it when you meet them to check out the house, and thus veto the place on that basis.
But let me tell you from experience that you don't want to be stuck in a house with someone who DOES have a problem with it and wish you'd found out for sure before you signed a lease and moved in. I spent a year living in a small unit with an evangelist who prayed for my salvation daily, and then told me about it and it was an absolute nightmare. I wish I had told her when we first met in order to gage her reaction and on that basis I wouldn't have moved in (she had other quirks but this was one of the major ones). But every person and situation is different so you may just have to use your own judgement with each house/person.

In a nutshell: It is most likely easier in the long run if you weed out the homophobes before hand but it does mean opening up a bit with strangers. I tend to just grit my teeth and do it, knowing if it doesn't go very well I will never have to see or speak to the person again.
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It turns out I ended up finding a place which said something along the lines of 'gay friendly' in the ad. I don't think anyone else in the house is gay, so I figured since they had bothered to include something like that then they are obviously not a bunch of homophobes. Anyway I think they figured it out because I dropped a bunch of hints when we were talking about having 'boyfriends' staying over etc and no one seemed to care.

So it all worked out well.

I still don't know what I would have done if I hadn't stumbled across this place though. I know in principle my housemate should just have to deal with it, but in reality, if you are living with someone who has a major issue with something about you, it can make life miserable. I don't think I would have wanted to end up in a situation like stephla! I've already had to deal with a (now ex) friend doing a similar thing and I would hate to actually live with someone like that!

Also, the thing with that particular website that I mentioned was that 1) you were forced to list your orientation, and 2) it only matched you up to people who had your features as their preferred features. So if you listed yourself as 'gay/bi', it would only match you up with people who had selected 'gay/bi' as their preferences for a roommate. And since about 80% of people just picked 'straight' for their preferred roomate, you couldn't even view their profiles and contact them if you had listed yourself as 'gay/bi'. I thought that it was ridiculous that they forced you to put your sexuality on your profile in the first place, but that's a whole different issue.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kaz11 View Post

So apparently people still give a crap about this stuff.

Of course people still give a crap about this stuff. It's only on television that gays and lesbians have wonderful lives.

In real life gay people still live out of fear, get beaten up, have high incidents of depression and kill themselves
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Quote:

Originally Posted by eurolad View Post

Of course people still give a crap about this stuff. It's only on television that gays and lesbians have wonderful lives.

In real life gay people still live out of fear, get beaten up, have high incidents of depression and kill themselves

Unfortunately this is exactly what happens in reality. Although I have to say those kind of incidences are less common nowadays.

Anyhow, I'm glad you managed to find a place Kaz! I just had to do the same myself.
I just moved to Melbourne and was trawling a well known online classified site for my search. I luckily managed to come across two listings which looked suitable and included "gay friendly" as a clause. I have only moved in yesterday and haven't actually informed the rest of the housemates that I am gay but I think that will come by itself in time. There is a definite 'alpha male' in the house and I wonder if i'll run into problems there. I am fairly easy going about where I live and would be happy to relocate anyway but I doubt i'll need to any time soon.

So in short, if there wasn't any indications about preference in an ad, I would probably choose to be up front about because as Steph said, it's much worse to move in and find out that people have a problem then!
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Some of it may be a factor, too, as to how you (and everyone else in the sharehouse) intends to conduct your social life. FAR from a S/S issue, its a dynamic that needs addressed in any potential share situation.

Are you anticipating sleep-overs? or frequent visitors which could be seen as displacing rent payers from couch space? or creating too much of a demand for 'couple time' at the exclusion of other rightful residents of the sharehouse?

if you're going to have people for the night is there a late-in/early-out policy so as to be as non-disruptive to other rentpayers as possible? or is it going to be prolonged evening to late-morning hangouts with your spesh that will be more likely to impact on house-mates use of the shared space - especially of kitchen, shower, and bathroom use?

These are all factors of share living which on the one hand are very personal to you, but certainly involve and can impact other people living under the same roof . If on the otherhand you are going to be conducting your social activities at your partners place, I can't imagine that the gender of the partner would be relavent to your housem8s.

Then there's always the guiding assumptions to be considered when sharing living space with others - is it primarily a business-like arrangement or does it have more of a personal-social dynamic to it.
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hi there, wow I had no idea that long distance relationships were so common, I am in a lingo of a long distance relationship -_-, met online earlier this year, very cliche to say but he is different
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