Dear Dr. Date,All …

Dear Dr. Date,
All of my roommates have serious girlfriends and I do not. I have no problem finding nice, attractive women, but I always make up an excuse as to why things don’t work out. So what’s the problem? I think that I might be gay. I have been attracted to men before but have been too scared to act out on my desires. I fear that my roommates might not wish to associate with me if they ever found out, but I feel that telling them would relieve a lot of stress on me. I consider them my best friends and I do not want to scare them, or worse, to have them hate me while we live together.
Do you have any advice for me?
— Confused on Garfield

I remember the night my roommate took the rest of the house out for a cup of late night coffee. He wanted to tell us something. It was early December and there was already old snow on the ground. People from warmer states like to harp on how cold Minnesota can be in the winter, but they really don’t understand how nice it is to come in from the street and enter a toasty warm diner or coffee shop. I’m not sure why I remember walking from the car to the diner so precisely, but I think it’s because that scene was the end of a life I understood.
After much stalling and drinking of milky coffee, my roommate finally announced that he was gay. I had no clue, but in retrospect, it explained a lot about him. He’s the attractive, gregarious type of guy that women love, yet, even though he had plenty of opportunities, he never had much interest in having sex or dating. Everything sort of made sense and I was happy for him. I was also proud that he trusted our friendship so much that he felt he could tell me. In many ways, that moment added greater depth to our friendship.
Sounds fine, right? Unfortunately, there is a bad side to this story, too. He and my other roommate were much closer friends — nearly inseparable. After he came out that night, their friendship deteriorated. I still don’t know why, but now they don’t even speak to each other. I wish I knew what happened, but neither one of them will talk about what went wrong. I think, however, that it had less to do with his being gay and more to do with the inevitable changes of their lives.
If you choose to come out to your friends, I think you should expect that it will change your relationships with them. It may deteriorate, but it might also grow stronger.