How can I explain to my gay roommate why I’m moving out?

Question

The guy assigned to me as a dormitory roommate is gay. I’ve moved to a different dorm room, so that’s not my problem. My problem lies in explaining to him why I’ve moved. I don’t want to be a homophobe, and I don’t want to alienate him away from Christianity even more — he’s an atheist. I have my reasons for moving, plenty of them, like wanting to be comfortable in my home, not wanting friends and family to think I’m gay myself, and wanting to have something in common with my roommate. But is telling him all those reasons the best way to speak to him in love? Should I plan the conversation at all, or should I leave everything to the Holy Spirit?

Answer

You’re absolutely right that anything you say should be said in love. But why do you need to explain? Have you done something wrong? Has he asked? Suppose he does ask. Why not simply say, “I’d be uncomfortable living in the same room with you, for the same reason that a woman would be uncomfortable living in the same room with me. It’s about sexual modesty.” That’s not your only reason, but it’s an honest and inoffensive reason, and sometimes less is more.

Peace be with you,

PROFESSOR THEOPHILUS

Copyright 2006 Professor Theophilus. All rights reserved.

About the Author

J. Budziszewski

Professor J. Budziszewski is the author of more than a dozen books, including How to Stay Christian in College, Ask Me Anything, Ask Me Anything 2, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, and The Line Through the Heart. He teaches government and philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin.