3 octobre 2023

I don't want to make the exchange student uncomfortable by disclosing my sexual orientation...

I’m going on an exchange for six months in France, where I’m staying in the home of another girl. We have been chatting about boys and such, and I’m pretty sure soon she is going to ask me about my love life. I’m dating a girl, I am a lesbian, but I don’t want to make this girl uncomfortable. She’s currently staying at my house and I’m afraid to tell her the truth or she’ll get upset.

Kathleen Kabis

Hello Marie,

Thank you for writing to Alterhéros. You tell me that you‘re participating in an exchange between France and your hometown. The girl you are exchanging with is currently staying at your place and you're afraid to tell her you are a lesbian in a relationship with a girl, by fear of upsetting her.

First of all I'd like to congratulate you on how comfortable you seem with your sexual orientation. Most people your age have not assumed that part of their identity yet, or are still questioning themselves.

In my opinion, unless she has voiced out negative comments about homosexuality, I would be honest with her. If she has said very hateful things about the subject, then, yes, you might want to omit that information about you and avoid the subject. Especially if you see that this could be a threat to you. But unless this is the case, I don't see any reason to lie to her. You have every right to your sexual orientation, as does she. Hopefully, she will not change her opinion of you only on this basis.

It might make her uncomfortable, but she will probably be confronted to homosexuality one day or another. Maybe if she gets a chance to discuss it with someone she knows, she will understand better and be less prejudice.

I hope this helps you Marie. Good luck and please write back if you have any other questions!