Making friends in college is difficult for anyone. You have douchey dudes and galling girls — and identifying as LGBTQ makes it even harder. Women in particular face a unique set of problems when overcoming the hurdle of interacting with straight peers.
Note: The names of those interviewed for this piece are not mentioned to protect their privacy.
1. “I’m never the person to sit down and be like “Hi, I’m gay,” but if it comes up in conversation it’s always like that pause, and I’m like oooh what’s their reaction going to be? Are they going to float over it? Are they going to be like, ‘Wait, what?’ Are they going to completely change their mannerisms around me? So I think that’s my hesitation in making straight girlfriends.“ –Boston College, Sophomore, History major
2. “This girl brought me flowers in class back in high school. I was sitting next to my semi-friend and when the flowers came, my friend’s face was priceless. It was confused but not judgmental.” –University of Washington, Sophomore, English major
3. “I only have two straight survivor friends. We met at a residential treatment center this past fall. We all suffer from different mental illnesses, so we bonded over that. I just find it sorta hard to connect with straight girls, or kind of straight people in general. It was easy with them though, cause we had something in common already.” –Scripps College, Sophomore, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies major
4. “Straight people scare me.” –Scripps College, Freshman, Undeclared major
5. “I don’t know man, being bi is what it is. People think I’m going to hit on any attractive human being.. And they’re right.” –University of Oregon, Sophomore, Journalism major
6. “My friends accept my bisexuality. However, I find it hard to be open about my sexuality around my straight girlfriends. They feel uncomfortable whenever I mention any attraction towards a girl. I wish they would be more encouraging and supportive. They seem to find it hard to treat my lady crushes like any other man crush.” –Boston College, Sophomore, Computer Science major
7. “Dropping that ‘oh my gosh that girl is so hot’ line in front of them is always a little awkward. But I’m not going to hide it. If a girl is hot, I’m gonna say it.” –University of Oregon, Sophomore, English major
8. “I came out completely to most of my friends once they found out I had a threesome and that I was having a thing with a girl. However, whenever my bisexuality is mentioned, the threesome always becomes the topic of conversation. It’s like I can’t talk about girls without a guy. Or a guy without a girl. I have become the face of threesomes for my friends. And they seem to find that too entertaining to see me just as their bisexual friend.” –Boston College, Junior, Communications major
9. “Sometimes I feel like people are looking at me different on first look. I pride myself in being butch. Some people look at me with this weird glance and all I can do is smile back and pray for them.” —Boston College, Junior, Theology major
10. “I’ll be anyone’s friend. Straight, gay, anything else under the sun. But if they don’t like Parks and Rec, it’s over before it begins.” —Boston College, Senior, Physics major