Living In A Gender Inclusive Dorm

It was the middle of May of my senior year of high school and I was filling out my housing application for this upcoming college semester. As I am nearing the end of my application, a rather strange question pops up on the screen, “Would you like to participate in Gender Inclusive Housing this year?” After researching it more, I found out that Gender Inclusive Housing (or GIH) was designed for people who are gay or might identify as the opposite gender to make them feel more comfortable rooming with whatever gender they would feel most comfortable with. I had no idea what to do in this situation because I never really gave thought into potentially rooming with guys. I sat and stared at my computer screen for probably about fifteen minutes before I ultimately decided that I would agree to the GIH. I felt that it would be awesome to help someone else out by making their dorming experience more comfortable, and in a way, I felt that it could be good for me too. When I was filling out my housing application, I was going for a suite-style rather than a traditional one, which means that I would have three roommates instead of one. I know that being together with girls all the time can become a nightmare just because of how caddy we can be, and it honestly just seemed like a headache. So, I thought that having a boy or two in the mix would be a better dynamic for me.

A few months later, I check my student profile for updates on my housing situation, and I see that there are three roommates listed. On the housing portal, it does not give any information about your roommates except for an email to reach out to them. With that being said, I did not know if I had girls, boys, or anyone on the gender spectrum, so I reached out to the person who I was sharing a room with. Later in the day, they responded back to me, and I find out that I am sharing a room with a straight male. This was a little scary to me because I was not expecting to be in a room with anyone other than a girl or someone who identified as gay or transgender. We make small talk, and I conclude that his intentions are good, and it did not seem as though I had anything to fear. I ask him he had been in touch with our other two roommates, and he said that he had, and further informed me that they were also straight males. At this point, I was on the verge of backing out of my housing agreement because it was way out of my comfort zone to live with three guys. On top of that, these boys were strangers, and I did not know if they were in this agreement for the wrong reasons. My roommate assured me that he thought they were cool guys and encouraged me to stay, and I decided that if things went wrong, I could always switch rooms before the winter term. Currently, we are a little over a month into school, and I could not be happier with my housing situation. We all get along so well and have so much fun together. Overall, the living environment is so peaceful, and I could not ask for more.

I wanted to write this article because I wanted to talk about the biggest misconception of guys and girls living together. Whenever I tell people that I am rooming with three guys they automatically assume that I have some sort of romantic relationship with them, but that is definitely not the case. Guys and girls can absolutely live platonically together just as long as they respect one another's boundaries, and learn to live a little like the other. Now, I have three more people in my life to do face masks with, grab coffee, study, or even gossip. It is just that these three amazing people who are now a big part of my life turned out to be the opposite gender from me, and the big question I want to know now is who actually cares? I can say with confidence that it is the exact same as two boys or two girls living together. Why not start changing the way you view GIH?