I can haz GBLT Sandwizh Apartmentz?
May 11, 2009 8:52 PM   Subscribe

What does GLBT friendly mean in the context of roomate ads?

Many ads for cool apartments say "GLBT Friendly". I know what the acronym stands for but I'm wondering what specifically that means.

In my own case, I
1) Fully support and 2 human's right to get married, have health benefits, etc.
2) Feel that homosexuality is a natural situation and not a sin.
3) Erm...have a very good gay friend! I mean, some of my best friends are gay. Well, one of them, anyway. Very happy for him and his partner. However, he's generally critical of the gay scene and works as a mechanic. I don't know.

on the other hand, to be quite frank:
1) I've had a hard time in my life making friends with many (but definitely not all) of the lesbians I've known.
2) Not particularly interested in listening to someone's personal sexual history. Straight or gay. Unless I am, when I'd probably ask. But it's not something I necessarily want to be forced to talk about.
3) As a fairly solitary and contemplative person, I'm generally put off by flamboyant behavior in general.

So I'm wondering, do I qualify as GLBT friendly? The thing is, I'm not sure I'm straight friendly, or particularly friendly in general. I guess I see people as individuals. I'm hesitant to declare myself GLBT friendly because I feel like there are aspects of the culture as I see it that annoy me. Not really different than how aspects of straight culture annoy me. But I don't have to say I'm "straight friendly" to find a roomate.

Thanks for your thoughts here. I end up thinking about this a lot. I apologize in advance if in asking the question I've raised anyone's hackles. I'm seriously interested in the answer.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (45 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think you qualify as "GLBT friendly". I think the purpose of "GLBT friendly" in the ads is to assure potential GLBT roommates that they're not signing up to live with somebody who believes their lifestyle is sinful, will try to convert them to being straight, etc.

In particular I don't think it necessarily means anything about being connected to any gay "scene", or anything about "flamboyance". Not all gay people are like the ones you see on poorly written TV shows!
posted by madcaptenor at 8:58 PM on May 11, 2009

But I don't have to say I'm "straight friendly" to find a roomate.

Right. Because everything is straight friendly. You are making too much of this. It has nothing to do with anyone telling you their sexual history. Think of it as saying "all types welcome." It needs to be said because many places/people/institutions are not GLBT-friendly.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:59 PM on May 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

I would assume that "GLBT friendly" in the context of a roommate ad would means that the person posting the ad is GLBT and doesn't want to live with someone who'd be freaked out by that. It sounds like you'd be fine. As for flamboyancy, you can't really assume much, just meet the person and see if you get along.
posted by kprincehouse at 9:00 PM on May 11, 2009 [8 favorites]

I tend to read that phrase, in context, to mean that one could live in that apartment and be "out". i.e. talk about their weekend at the gay clubs, bring a boyfriend/girlfriend over and introduce them as such, etc. and not have to worry. It's easier to know that upfront than to apply, meet the perspective roommate and have that awkward "I'm gay, would that bother you?" Putting "LGBT friendly" basically says "No, it wouldn't bother me" right up front.

I would never think it implies discussing sexual history, nor, necessarily, that the two roommates would be Best Friends Forever.

As to your own "friendliness": as a queer woman, if my roommate was unfriendly to an uncomfortable degree I would start to wonder if it's because I was gay; if the "LGBT friendly" was just a ruse. But that would be my own paranoia talking.
posted by aclevername at 9:01 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree with everything here.

It doesn't mean "must be okay with a constant gay-pride parade while we film porno in the living room". It means "must not preach from the good book and sneer with hatred when we bring our SO home".

No worries, really, but meet and see if you're compatible, gay or not.
posted by disillusioned at 9:02 PM on May 11, 2009

the person posting the add is LGBT and doesn't want to deal with interviewing potential roommates who will have a problem with that.

You probably wouldn't have a problem with that, since flamboyance and talking too much about sexual history aren't universal to the lgbt community, but rather, to specific individuals have all stripes, including straight ones.
posted by Kololo at 9:05 PM on May 11, 2009

If I read "LGBT friendly" as a particularly stated descriptor I would assume someone with more than one gay friend, and with some comfort/familiarity with various gay/lesbian issues/cultures (comfort can include criticism/irritation). I think a more accurate statement would be silence or a generic nondiscrimination statement -- "any race, sexual orientation, gender is okay with me," or words to that effect.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:07 PM on May 11, 2009

"LGBT Friendly" = "Not A Bigot"
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:10 PM on May 11, 2009 [17 favorites]

The person posting isn't necessarily LGBT - I'm straight but I put "LGBT friendly" in the ad when I was looking for new roommates because I've heard from such friends that possible homophobia, etc. was a concern when they were apartment hunting - and I don't want anyone to worry about discrimination or disapproval from me. Bonus: it would scare away homophobic straights, who I don't want to live with either. It is ridiculous, and I fully expect to shock my grandchildren with the anecdote... After all, I did not post to craigslist that "I'm not racist!" or "Jews welcome!" - but there we are. To answer your question, though? No, you don't "qualify". You have some decidedly weird ideas and attitudes about gay people, so no cool apartment for you.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:15 PM on May 11, 2009 [6 favorites]

I'm inclined to think that it *really* means, "gays only," but that would be illegal. I think the effect is the same in the vast majority of cases, though. not all, but i've experienced enough homosexism to know that many gays are less open-minded than they expect straights to be.
posted by rhizome at 9:22 PM on May 11, 2009

I interpret it as aclevername said above: I tend to read that phrase, in context, to mean that one could live in that apartment and be "out".

But I guess if I were the one advertising I would see 'gay friendly' as a necessary but not sufficient criterion for a roommate: plenty of gay/gay friendly people are obnoxious jerks, so you'd still have to meet and see that they were someone you might get along with. Gay-friendly doesn't, to me, imply any level of sociability, or that they want to be actual 'friends' with you. Just not have you hate them.
posted by jacalata at 9:24 PM on May 11, 2009

the person posting the add is LGBT and doesn't want to deal with interviewing potential roommates who will have a problem with that.

I'm inclined to think that it *really* means, "gays only"

You guys are crazy. I know a bunch of straight people who would make a posting like this. They were women's studies or philosophy majors or something. Jesus.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:28 PM on May 11, 2009

If I were you, and posting an ad for a roommate, I wouldn't say 'LGBT friendly.' If I were you, and looking for a roommate, I wouldn't strongly weight 'LGBT friendly' one way or the other.
posted by box at 9:29 PM on May 11, 2009

It's interesting that you associate being gay with A) being "forced to talk about" "someone's sexual history;" and B) flamboyance.

I have gay friends who have not once talked to me about sex. I don't know any who talk about sex more than my straight friends. Understand: Homosexuality ≠ sex. It means someone is attracted to people of the same gender. It means that person goes on dates, or doesn't, with people of the same gender. If that makes you think of sex, that's your problem.

Imagine this: Your roommate comes home with someone from a date. They stay up late, quietly talking and laughing at the kitchen table. You go to bed. After you're asleep, they go to bed, too. The next morning, your roommate's date takes an early shower and slips out before you're awake.

This is normal roommate behavior, to my memory. Now: Would it matter to you that your roommate was gay? Would you consider yourself to be forced to deal with your roommate's sexual history in this situation?

Now, additionally, imagine that neither your roommate nor your roommate's date flits around the apartment in a Speedo, queening it up like some movie cliché. Imagine he (or she!) kind of, you know, walks around, talks, make coffee, watches TV, makes some jokes, studies in his room. Get this: Gay people mostly do these sorts of things. They generally wouldn't flirt with you, stick their asses in your face, or share information you weren't interested in hearing. Are there exceptions? Sure. But there are hetero assholes as well.
posted by argybarg at 9:29 PM on May 11, 2009 [5 favorites]

If they require you to be GLBT-friendly, they're probably gay. Or annoying political.

If they're claiming that they're GLBT-friendly, then they don't care if you're gay.
posted by Netzapper at 9:41 PM on May 11, 2009

Do you qualify as GLBT friendly? Let's say you live in this house for a while and you guys need another roommate. People respond to your ad and turn out to be GLBT. Is this an issue at all? Does it make you hesitate? If so, you're not GLBT friendly. Or... one of your roommates brings home a guest who is GLBT. Does this make you uncomfortable at all? If so, you're not GLBT friendly. It's really as simple as that. I don't see it as having anything to do with the sexual preference of the people living in the house; it's more a statement that the people living there want their home to be a welcoming place for all people including GLBT persons, and if you're not OK with that, they'd rather not have you as a roommate.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:53 PM on May 11, 2009

they're probably gay. Or annoying political.

Or, they might have lots of GLBT friends or a GLBT family member that they like to spend time with and who may be in and out of the house as friends and family often are, and they don't want to hear any shit about it.
posted by padraigin at 9:54 PM on May 11, 2009 [4 favorites]

Seriously, people! GLBT friendly does not necessarily mean they are gay. It could mean that, but it could also mean that they are straight and have a bunch of gay friends. It could also mean, they are trying to get progressive, liberal type people.

I once went to look at an apartment near Wesleyan in CT and the kid had his black friend interview me to make sure I wasn't racist.

People will go to certain measures to fine a good roommate. I for one, judge people on their music taste.
posted by hazyspring at 9:57 PM on May 11, 2009

So I'm wondering, do I qualify as GLBT friendly?

Honestly? Judging by some specifics in your question, no, you would not qualify. You seem to be stuck in a heteronormative mindset: the sentence "But I don't have to say I'm "straight friendly" to find a roomate" is particularly damning. That's like saying "why isn't there a White History Month?"

Also: "As a fairly solitary and contemplative person, I'm generally put off by flamboyant behavior in general." Not only are you stereotyping homosexuals, you're forgetting that straight male behavior is extraordinarily flamboyant - some straight men even proposition women in public, an act rarely duplicated by homosexual men. And if we don't do that, we do other things to flaunt our straightness, putting it in people's faces, if you will: kissing our girlfriends, holding hands, ugh, just right there in public as if it were no big deal at all. Unbelievable, right?

Frankly, I don't think you Get It. And I think that you'll be generally unhappy with a gay or lesbian roommate, because you clearly have different behavioral standards for them than you do for straight people. Do yourself and potential roommates a favor and stick with what you're comfortable with.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:02 PM on May 11, 2009 [36 favorites]

I put GLBT friendly in my roommate ads because its easier than coming out to every roommate applicant. I want the person to know, coming in, that I'm gay. I want to know they won't preach to me.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:09 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

You seem to be GLBT Worried, not GLBT Friendly.
posted by so_gracefully at 10:14 PM on May 11, 2009 [3 favorites]

Optimus Chyme I think you misinterpreted the statement about disliking flamboyance. You say annon forgets that straight men can (I emphasize can because you said 'is/are', which is making just as sweeping a statement as saying all homosexuals are flamboyant) be flamboyant also, but I think they were explicitly trying to emphasize that their issue is not with sexual orientation, but a particularly open way in which some people express their sexuality (see "fairly solitary and contemplative" and "not sure I'm straight friendly") - a tendency that could thought to be indicated by saying 'GLBT friendly' by someone who has never encountered the term before and is curious about what it might mean (i.e. annon).

As for advice for the situation specifically, I would say it doesn't really matter what GLBT friendly means. Follow the same procedure you usually would when looking for a place to rent - meet up with your potential room mates and assess based on that meeting how compatible you are, regarding their style of expressing themselves etc, irrespective of their sexual orientation.
posted by atmosphere at 10:28 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think they were explicitly trying to emphasize that their issue is not with sexual orientation, but a particularly open way in which some people express their sexuality

Oh please. "Flamboyance" is a term that is never, EVER used to discuss the sexual behavior of straight people. It's not a "friendly" word in the context of this conversation. I'm with OptimusChyme and so_gracefully, you seem to have GLBT-specific issues that might prevent you from being a good roommate to a GLBT person.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:34 PM on May 11, 2009 [8 favorites]

You sound friendly enough, and I'm not trying to be flip, but it sounds like if you're 'individual friendly', it might help if you met the individual you might room with and see if you feel friendly towards them, specifically. Since that's what really matters, that you could live with that particular person.

Meanwhile I'm kind of sadly chuckling at moxiedoll's comment above. I think if I saw an apartment ad that said "Black People Friendly, come on by!", I'd be a little creeped out, but I get it. Its so sad that we even need to say LGBT Friendly these days, like it's a special amenity, rather than something that just comes with the room.
posted by anitanita at 10:40 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Given that you're actually bothering to ask the question, and seem interested in others' opinions, you don't seem to be a Bigot For Life, so even if you do find the prospect of living with a gay housemate a bit worrying, you may find the reality of life with them utterly normal. In my late teens/early 20's I would have felt much the same as you, but when I actually moved out of home and did the rounds of share-housing and met and lived with some gay people, I discovered (not that it was really a surprise, honestly) that they, like straight folks, actually had wide varieties of personality and habits. Adding even more complexity to the matter, many people--gay or straight--behave quite differently at home and when out socializing; I suspect the majority of people of all subcultures and personality types are quieter at home, if only because they're more likely to have come home because they are tired.

It doesn't make you a bad person to like peace, quiet and minding your own business, it's just your personality type. The thing is, it doesn't make them a bad person either, for liking a bit more fun and telling people about their lives than you do. You need to find compatible people (gay or straight) to live with. Sexuality is a very low-rating issue in terms of housemate compatibility, in my experience and opinion; I'd rate it way below cat-compatibility and dishwashing protocols.

I'd advise you to open your mind a bit, release your preconceptions (as others have pointed out in this thread, you do have some), and answer a couple of these ads to go see. In the end, they will decide if you get to live there or not, and if they don't find you objectionably prejudiced, you're probably "GLBT-friendly" enough in the eyes of those GLBT people.

Of course in the long term the only way to tell if housemates are any good is to live with them, but you can get an idea of what they're like to live with from meeting them and checking out the house. If they're loud and annoying, turn them down with a clear conscience, but don't assume other gay people are anything like them. Checking out several such ads will demonstrate that fact to you more clearly than discussion here could.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:02 PM on May 11, 2009 [2 favorites]

As a rule, are you uncomfortable with being around PDA's ? There's nothing wrong with saying outright that you'd prefer this not be done in the common space.
posted by brujita at 11:15 PM on May 11, 2009

It seems to me your qualifiers are less about someones sexuality and more about their lifestyle or personality not clashing with yours, so why don't you drop the whole GLBT thing altogether and advertise for what is important to you?
Example, Quiet person seeks same, or mature non partying household, or I don't know, whatever fits the description of who you are and what you are looking for.
posted by newpotato at 3:47 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've always assumed that posting GLBT on an advert for a Room meant that someone living in the house was GLBT.

Which i've then assumed would probably mean they have a preference for a "fellow GLBT" - or maybe not...
posted by mary8nne at 4:19 AM on May 12, 2009

You sound GBLT-friendly and drama-queen unfriendly.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 4:24 AM on May 12, 2009

Actually, I just thought about this some more and imagined you'd asked this question with transposed details about living with people of a different ethnic background. You have friends of this race- well, one- and you like him, and want him to have full rights... but you suspect you might become a little uncomfortable if they started eating fried chicken at every meal or expecting you to listen to long basketball stories. Or whatever, insert stereotype A into anecdote B.
Not saying you're a terrible bigot, but I don't think I'd really want to live with someone who had those kinds of questions about *my* personality as relates to my culture. So maybe while you're not LGBT UNfriendly, you're less friendly than the roomate they're hoping to find.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 4:45 AM on May 12, 2009

I always took it to mean I'd need to be comfortable living with an openly gay person (and would make sure they were comfortable living with me). Am I? Sure (and I've done so). There you go--GLBT friendly.

A lot of people who would try to convert/condemn/otherwise be a pain for a gay person to live with are not comfortable living with gay people. If you really can "live and let live" you're probably fine to at least answer the ad and meet the people in question. Then you can decide whether or not to live with them the same as you would a straight person that you're considering living with--whether you think you guys click, if you can handle their schedule or neatness requirements, whatever.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:34 AM on May 12, 2009

My current roommate had a GBLT friendly ad on Craigslist, and I responded under the assumption that she was gay, which she is. It's not like there was some kind of litmus test when I met her, she just wanted to be sure we would be cool with each other, which we totally are. If you have to think this much about it you may want to pass, when I saw GBLT friendly it didn't cause me any hesitation at all; I think that came across when we met and I think that's why I'm living there right now and not someone else.
posted by The Straightener at 6:43 AM on May 12, 2009

I think you're GLBT-friendly-curious, but billing yourself as GLBT-friendly would be a little misleading. If I was the one that posted the ad and you came to my door and we talked and you revealed those facts about yourself, I'd probably pass on you in favor of someone who was a little more relaxed about the whole thing,.

This is kind of like how I applied for this job yesterday where the sign said "BOTH English/Spanish speaking a plus" and now I'm on the fence about whether I should even mention my dinky two years of high school Spanish -- sure it counts, and sure it will help me (a little) on the job, but presenting myself as a Spanish-speaker is a little disingenuous.

Or what optimus chyme said.
posted by hermitosis at 6:54 AM on May 12, 2009

I'm guessing it means you're not a homophobe, and won't freak out when you find out your new roommate is gay.
posted by chunking express at 8:58 AM on May 12, 2009

The folks who are saying that putting "GLBT-friendly" on an ad is "annoyingly political" or "homosexist" seem to me to be out of touch.

If, God forbid, I needed to find a roommate, I would certainly consider putting "GLBT-friendly" on an ad, because I wouldn't want to deal with anyone's nonsense or asshole behavior toward my friends. Full stop.

That would be much more important to me than other shit people put in ads without being "annoyingly political" like "non-smoker".

I don't see any reason to be tolerant of bigots.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:00 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Up here in Seattle, if someone puts "herb/green friendly" on their ad, I assume it means they are looking for a fellow toker. If someone put GLBT-friendly on their ad, I'd assume something similar. YMMV.

Also, see the movie Kiss Me, Guido for the comedy take on this question, based on a misunderstanding of the gay keycode "GWM", with a straight actor thinking it stands for "Guy With Money", instead of "Gay White Male".
posted by nomisxid at 9:15 AM on May 12, 2009

Just as a data point, I'm gay, and I always add "GLBT friendly" when I'm looking for a roommate. This isn't because I'm looking for gay roommates exclusively; most of my roommates have been straight. Basically, it's to give people some advance warning so that they can think about whether they'd be OK living with a gay roommate. I also explicitly come out as a lesbian in the interview.

I don't think it should be held against someone if they prefer not to share a house with a gay roommate. Plenty of straight women wouldn't want to live with a straight male roommate. It's worth thinking about whether it would make a difference to you to live with someone who could *potentially* be attracted to you or to whom you could *potentially* be attracted. Sometimes people feel like they can't completely relax or be themselves when there is the potential that the other person might be attracted to them.

(Not that I would ever approach a roommate romantically, but sometimes it makes a difference just to know that the potential for attraction is there).
posted by GraceCathedral at 9:53 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

It seems apparent that everyone has a slightly different idea of what the writers of the ads might mean, whether it means they're gay, they have gay friends, they just don't like bigots, they want a gay roommate, etc.

I think it's safe to assume that what it actually means in a particular ad probably also varies based on who wrote the ad. It could probably mean any of those things, but if I had to guess, I would assume that more often than not it simply means that the person posting the ad wants to weed out bigots before they waste both of their time applying for the ad.

Since there are at least 4 different interpretations, and every writer of roommate-wanted ads might also have something different in mind when they imagine their ideal roommate, my suggestion is to take it at face value. If you are cool with a GLBT-roomie, and the rest of the ad also sounds like a good fit for you, respond to the ad, meet the potential future roomie, and at that point you guys can mutual decide if it's a good fit or not. There are so many other possible deal-breakers, that it's worth pursuing if everything else seems like a good fit...you're going to be roommates, not BFFs.
posted by tastybrains at 9:54 AM on May 12, 2009

OK, I'm trying to address specific aspects of friendliness and not pile on here. Here's what strikes me as unfriendly.

...I feel like there are aspects of the culture as I see it that annoy me.

Look, this is true for me too. However, you are straight and I am not. Therefore, if you say this, it may come across as jerk behavior, because it does not appear friendly when you criticize a scene that isn't actually part of your life, whereas my criticism comes from firsthand experiences that have personally not made me happy.

Not particularly interested in listening to someone's personal sexual history. Straight or gay.

This does not seem like a thought process that will lead to friendly behavior. It makes me think that one of two things is true about you: either your friends, straight and gay, have shitty boundaries and do tell you about their sex lives all the time without your consent; or else you think of queer people first and foremost as sexual people, secondarily as whole entire real people. That's not friendly, it's...awkward.

Whole entire real lives usually aren't that exciting. So I think it's worth pointing out that in the context of a person you potentially have to live with, "lgbt friendly" may mean something more subtle than "please don't condemn or preach to me or my friends and family." (Think about it -- isn't that setting the bar pretty low for someone who shares your living space?) It might mean that your roommate expects you to say, "Hey, awesome," when they tell you they're dating someone new who's super hot, just like you said "Hey, awesome," last week when they brought home the new Wii. Nothing more, nothing less, no nervous laughter. If you can't meet expectations like that, I say give the queer roommates a pass until you can be chill about it.
posted by clavicle at 10:05 AM on May 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

I think that if you have to ask if you're GLBT friendly, then maybe it's best that you assume you don't qualify. You do seem to have some weird ideas about gay people and I'm not sure it would be fun for either of you if it cropped up. That shouldn't rule too many apartments out, right?

The above posters are right that, in all likelihood, they'll be like any other roommate you've ever had. But, hey, some gay people -- just like some straight people -- like to talk about their sexual history, or have partners over, or whatever. Since that sounds like it could bother you, just don't risk it.

My husband had gay roommates before, and it didn't bother him if they wanted to talk about sexual or political things, or if he saw them with their boyfriends, or whatever. My gay friends have come and stayed with us and were able to do those things as well. So for us, it wouldn't even be a question. I think having a roommate who had the ideas you do would probably make some of those same gay people uncomfortable. While it definitely wouldn't be an issue for some gay roommates, I think it's more considerate of you to play it safe, basically. For example, imagine you're a lesbian and you don't want to have to watch what you say about sex in your own home, right? So you post an ad saying you want a GLBT friendly roommate. Well, if you responded to the ad and somehow moved in, and then were bothered by their talking about sex sometimes... you can understand why she'd be peeved, yeah?
posted by Nattie at 11:20 AM on May 12, 2009

Queer folk are reasonably afraid of being beaten up or killed by homophobes. You're totally LGBT friendly if you aren't trying to kill me or covert me.
posted by chairface at 1:36 PM on May 12, 2009

Do yourself and potential roommates a favor and stick with what you're comfortable with.

One can't really expect sexual orientation to be a complete non-issue in the future if we are flat out discouraging each other to expand our comfort zones. I see nothing particularly wrong or evil about having questions or even slight reservations about sharing a flat with a people of different age, ethnicity, orientation or class. The best reality check against these presuppositions are almost always best dealt with by approaching the actual people and engaging them in a conversation. Many actual people, in fact.

I wish this was really about whether or not to respond to that particular ad. Then I'd get to say: please do, if only to see if these people really come across as flamboyant or are eager to share their sexual histories with you. (One of us might be surprised!) But since it's all but impossible to determine someone's real-life attitudes correctly from a single Metafilter post, I'm not sure how much we have to offer, really.

You sound like a decent enough guy. Do you qualify as "GLBT friendly"? Maybe, maybe not, we don't seem to have a clear and common understanding of what that means. In the end it's all about how you treat other people. If you are cool about gay people being gay and don't think too much of it, I believe you are in the clear.
posted by Orchestra at 2:10 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

You're very honest about what aspects of your personality lead you to consider *not* being GLBT friendly, which is good.

What you want to consider is do you want to live in a situation where you are going to be up to your eyeballs in someone else's life, being as that's what happens with roommates, and that life so happens to include same-sex relationships and/or gender variance?

Don't feel like you have something to prove here. You can be a tolerant person and GLBT friendly in other aspects of your life and still be honest with yourself and say "You know what, I wouldn't be comfortable sharing a bathroom with a pre-op transsexual. It would be weird." THAT is far more "friendly" than placing yourself and a potential roommate in a situation where you think you're going to be cool and then finding out... you're not so cool.

On the other hand, any issues you're going to have are just normal every day boring roommate issues. You're not going to have to campaign for gay marriage or end heterosexual privilege. You're just going to have to do the dishes and occasionally meet a boyfriend or two in a quasi-awkward setting.

I'd place my vote in the "If you have to ask, don't do it" camp. There are plenty of other potential roommates out there and you sound like you've got some issues surrounding GLBT folk to work out. And trust me, no one wants to be the person that personally walks you through GLBT 101 while trying to just live a normal life. No one.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:16 PM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

As a gay guy who's found roommates on Craigslist with "glbt-friendly a must" in my ads, I assure you the person who posted this question would not qualify in my book. Poster, I have nothing against you, but you have a way to go before you can reasonably call yourself "gay-friendly" in the context of roommate ads.

One can't really expect sexual orientation to be a complete non-issue in the future if we are flat out discouraging each other to expand our comfort zones

Yeah, but we're talking about signing leases with strangers and stuff. That's hardly the time to be deciding to experiment with your comfort zone. Seriously, when I'm looking for someone who's cool with gay folks, the last thing I need is a person who's thinking "Gosh, this is a perfect chance for me to expand my horizons and live with a gay person!" That's just needless drama waiting to happen.

You're totally LGBT friendly if you aren't trying to kill me or covert me.

Come on, chairface, you can do better than that.
posted by mediareport at 8:48 PM on May 12, 2009

I'm a lesbian, and when a came out at work a few years ago, it was very difficult and eye-opening to me. I definitely do not talk about my sex life at all, with almost anyone, except maybe my one or two closest friends.

But, I did talk about my relationship. And, it made some people uncomfortable, to the point where some people who were saying they were "GLBT friendly" were saying "I don't understand why she has to talk about it all of the time."

And, it wasn't that I was talking about sex, I was talking about my new relationship with someone I was in love with.

I'm saying this to say to your above question, just because someone is gay or says GLBT friendly doesn't necessarily mean they will need to talk about their sex life. Being gay, forces you to (if you are out) state your sexual preferences. As a person who believes that sexual preferences (straight, gay, kinky, etc.) are a very private and personal thing, being gay forces you to tell everyone your sexual preference. For me, while I am not uncomfortable being out, it definitely is not easy having to spell this out to people, and know that other people are uncomfortable, and it does not mean that we (the gays) necessarily like talking about it or about sex (although I'm sure like all people some do).
posted by hazyspring at 6:38 AM on May 13, 2009

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