My first group of queer friends all lived together. And wow was I jealous.
I lived with my girlfriend at the time, my best friend who is, shockingly, a cis straight-ish man, and a stranger, who was very nice, but also a cis straight man. It was certainly among my best living situations, but it was not a big queer household. And I started daydreaming about moving into my friends’ apartment, especially once two of them started dating (classic).
I never got to move in. They still live together, so theoretically the dream is alive, but it was never about that specific household anyway, love them as I do. It was about any queer household made up of three to four lovely humans. And last month I found that.
Autostraddle’s money survey revealed that 29.15% of us live with friends or strangers, 23.8% live alone, and 41.6% live with a significant other. Only 5.45% live with parents or other family. Anecdotally, when I talk to straight people, that number is way higher for them. It makes sense. Queer people are more likely to have strained relationships with parents, and even if we don’t, may still prefer to be in a space with people who share our identities.
I currently live in a five-bedroom house in Echo Park with four other people. And I just adore them! I’ve lived with a lot of people over the years, 19 to be exact, and there have been some high points and low points. Some of those people became close friends and others became enemies. Enemies include my college freshman roommate who crushed on the same person as me first semester. This culminated in a very dramatic Hurricane Sandy blackout where we were all trapped together on our floor. Officially I’m over it, but also he never did his dishes, so fuck that guy. I digress.
Maybe it’s because I’ve traded the cramped quarters of a New York apartment for a spacious LA house, but I’ve never felt quite so happy with a living situation as I do now. As a trans woman who often feels anxious out in the world, it’s so important to feel safe in my home. And not just physically safe, emotionally safe too. It’s a privilege to have options, and I’m so grateful to have found that.
My new roommates are also genuinely so fun to be around! Once my ex and I moved into a one bedroom I certainly felt safe and comfortable with her, but as someone who often has long periods of time working from home, it’s so nice to have a lot of roommates going in and out. I even choose to hang out with them outside our home! Sometimes multiple times a week! Amazing!
I knew when I first started forming queer community that I wanted to, at least for a period of time, live in a home with a bunch of queer people. And now I am! And it’s the best.
I want to hear about your experience with roommates. Horror stories? Success stories? Do you like the people you live with now? Or, like my friends, have you ever hooked up with or started dating your roommate? (My friends are still together but that doesn’t mean I recommend it!)
I’ve decided that roommates are queer culture, so let’s talk about them!
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