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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » knocking on the closet door?

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Author Topic: knocking on the closet door?
Dead Dog
Member # 1672

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i'm looking for some advice...

i am getting the impression that one of my college suitemates may be lesbian or bisexual.

for one thing, she receives letters from other girls that sound like every love letter you've ever read. her roommate frequently comes home and finds her in the room with another girl, with the lights off, and they both leap out of bed and start fixing their hair when they hear the key in the door. she tells us that she has a boyfriend named chris, but no one has ever met him or spoken to him, and the only chris that calls her is a girl named christ.

i realize that none of these things in and of themselves constitute conclusive evidence. even all of them together might be explained away. but there are just little day to day signs that strongly suggest that she might be in the closet. i think she wants to be open about it (because she does things like leaving her love notes lying open around her dorm room), but i think maybe she is afraid of how the rest of us will react.

i have talked to my roommate and my other suitemate, and they both sense the same thing. none of us would mind if that were the case - in fact, we would prefer it if she felt comfortable enough to be open with us.

however, we are unsure of how to approach the subject with her. i don't want to risk her being offended if we're wrong; i also don't want her to get scared or defensive if we're right.

what can i say to make her feel safe and comfortable while letting her realize that she can be honest with us?

please help! as the situation stands now, there is a lot of tension between the four of us. i really want to get everything out in the open and let everyone know that they can be themselves without being judged. any advice is appreciated; thanks.

Ignore the Gable candle!

Posts: 61 | From: texas - yeehaw, or something | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1194

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why don't you talk to her privately and just tell her that you just want her to know, as a friend, that if there is ever anything she'd like to tell you you're there for her. You can't force anyone to tell you something they don't want to tell. You might be curious (who wouldn't be?) but if she doesn't tell you on her own there's not really a polite way of asking....

"it's like being hit in the head repeatedly with a sock full of quarter's" ~~Daria~~

Posts: 543 | From: NY | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 100

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Might I suggest the positive value of leaving out your own collection of queer-positive, feminist, sex-educational, and sex-positive books? It's a grand way to "telegraph" to someone that you're a-ok with openness and honesty without having to say much at all.

What's that, you say? No cllection of books like that? Well, try Scarleteen Shop -- or the library. Campuses do have those. And campus queer or women's centers often have lotsa pamphlets and stuff that might be helpful, too.

Aside from that, being friendly and laid back -- maybe bringing up a queer friend of yours, or this cool queer-friendly place you visit on the Internet called Scarleteen --and being conversational is also good. If she's scared and closeted, she's going to be likely to make a lot of assumptions about how *other* people may react because of how she's reacting inwardly about her own situation. Making it clearer that you're cool with whoever and whatever she is might help make her more comfy.

A friend of mine and I used to say we were going to rent out a Holiday Inn conference room and just hold day-long conferences for all the closeted people we knew. Just get 'em in the room, lock the door, and have someone up at the podium say "Okay, everyone, you're here because you're queer. Now, get used to it."

Amusing in the abstract, but in reality, being gentle is usually a much better bet.

Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!

Posts: 1538 | From: boston, ma, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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