Hey brothers! I wanted to give you all a quick bird’s eye view of my life the last 9 months!

I bought a house.

It feels really weird typing that sentence right now! I still lie in bed at nights and have a hard time processing the fact that I’m responsible for my own place. I could bore you on all the details of the place, but I want to focus more on what I’ve been learning through it all.

I’ve always kind of envisioned myself living in the city. Maybe it was God preparing me for a life of service, or maybe it’s more of an aversion to farmland and just the need for a change of scenery.

Anyway, it happened. I’m officially living IN the city! I’ve had a roommate since day one. He’s a great friend and brother in Christ.

We also share a mutual burden for ministering to the refugee community. If we were not called to these people, we probably wouldn’t be in this specific location. But God is good!

Oh, and I’m still SSA. I bet that surprised everyone!

But the good news is that I’m still learning things.

Thing 1: Living with a male roommate can help with body-confidence struggles.

My body-image anxiety has always kept me from feeling comfortable around other guys. I’ve worried about impressing guys — which is futile, of course. I’ve also stressed out about not looking as ripped as all the guys I’ve idolized. I’m getting over that, too.

So, I’m learning how to be comfortable around the house, regardless of how many clothes we’re wearing. It’s very freeing!

Thing 2: There are some things that living with another guy won’t help!

Sometimes, I get excited when I think other guys can “help” me. If they’re helping me with body-image issues, maybe they can help me with my cravings for physical touch! Maybe they’ll be amazing friends I can talk to!

Then again, maybe it’s a blessing that I don’t find all my “help” in one single guy friend. I still fall on my face crying out for Jesus.

Thing 3: It can be hard not to be worried about “looking gay.”

I mean, when you are always in the car together, living together, going walking together . . . what must the neighbors think? We’ve both mentioned it to each other numerous times.

We just tell ourselves that the world needs to get over it!

Thing 4: Having your own pad opens up doors for encouraging other young men.

We’ve hosted quite a few people already! It’s fun having a place where other young men can feel free to just drop in and hang out! Sometimes, we invite our refugee friends over, and sometimes it’s just our bros from church.

I might be biased, but I tend to think that SSA guys have natural qualities that make hosting easier than a bunch of straight guys would.

This is my short list. What have you guys learned from moving out of your parents’ home and/or living with a male roommate?

* Photo courtesy, SteffanyZphotography, Creative Commons.

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  • Well, I’m 60 years old, so it has been a while since I moved out of my parent’s home…LOL! I learned that other guys need friendship just as much as I do and that guys without SSA have struggles just like guys with SSA do…we all need each other and we can all support each other. Guys are probably easier to live with than living with women…LOL! I’ve been married almost 38 years now! Now that I’m older, I don’t worry about receiving affection from other guys nor about giving affection to other guys. I don’t give a second thought that others may think I’m gay…I’m not gay, so why worry about it? That’s their problem, not mine. I hate the cultural stuff that keeps men from being affectionate in genuine, but non-sexual ways. Both OSA guys and SSA guys suffer from what should be healthy affection that is withheld because of our cultural bias that only gay men can be affectionate…
    And I think it is great that you are being hospitable to other young men. I am too! I’m trying to love and encourage men wherever I can. I have straight friends, SSA friends and gay friends. I try to love them all with the love of God that He has shown me..

  • C,
    Yes, I have also experienced much close fellowship and spiritual growth from living with other guys. One guy I lived with is still my friend nearly 40 years later! I tell some of his story here:
    As you wisely said, it is not good to become obsessed with one guy and expect him to meet all your emotional needs. That would hurt both of you and probably destroy the friendship. I talk about that here:

    • Hey Marshall!
      I think of you often when I’m thinking about this topic. I really appreciate being able to learn from those who have walked some of these steps ahead of me. You’re an inspiration to me! 🙂

  • I relate to this so much, although I haven’t moved out. I do live in a dorm full of guys. The body shaming thing is such a huge conflict with me because I never like to take my shirt off in front of the guys, I desire physical touch so much. This has pointed out things i never noticed about myself. Thanks for sharing. I have noticed that my ability to hang out with guys and feel less awkward has increased a lot lol.

    • Hey Daniel, Welcome to YOB. You’re new here I think? I visited a bible college dorm once. I can’t believe how much I learned from that one weekend! 😀 It seems like getting comfortable around guys (shirts or no shirts) is an exercise. I find it a lot easier than I used to anyways. I’m going to pray that you find peace in all these areas, and you can do the same for me. Peace is what we need, and the Devil does not offer the real thing. :/

  • I’ve lived with guys before as roommates. Its been good in some respects but the guys I lived with haven’t always been the best. The body issues thing sadly doesn’t apply to me because the guys I’ve roomed with have been insecure about it too. I shared a bedroom with one guy and he would always change his clothes in the walk-in closet. Him and the other roommates also got rather cliquish and it seems like there’s this unspoken rule that guys living together shouldn’t be close friends because that’s “gay.”

  • I enjoyed reading your post! Congratulations on your new place and Godspeed on your ministry to others as you serve them in your new place. I think it all wonderful! Many, many blessings to you in this new year!

  • C Marque, congratulations on that house, and thank you for your work with the refugees. It is good to know that you are using your resources for the kingdom. I will be praying for God to continue to direct, empower, and protect you in that.
    It has been 30 years since I had a male roommate, so I have to reach back a bit to recall those lessons. The big thing I could have learned is that I didn’t know the first thing about intimacy. We had our faith in common and were both passionate about social justice, but I didn’t know how to share the darker side of my heart. I tried to talk to him once about SSA. That may have been after one of the many times he would run out to his VW van on the street in his tighty-whities. I could not fathom such freedom, and his abundance of body hair was mesmerizing, as well as shaming. To his day I think I still have only 9 chest hairs. So, he often triggered my body image anxiety. He was a runner, so he was in decent shape also. Anyways, when I tried to tell him about my hidden problem, I could barely spit out something incomprehensible. He tried to clarify with some gentle questions, but I was unable to speak any more. I actually met my wife on one of his dates with her. He invited her to a celtic music concert, and I brought along a copy of Wind in the Willows. I barely spoke to either of them, but I did read a chapter from the book. My wife thought that was a bit strange…
    He and I did not remain close over the years. He became a professor and spent time in Europe with his family. But he is now teaching at my alma mater, and we are slowly rebuilding our relationship. My wife and I joined him and his wife for a great birthday dinner a couple of months ago. We laughed for three hours straight. So, God as always is gracious, and I get another opportunity to share my heart. I have largely overcome the depression that seems to bedevil him, so perhaps I can help. And his faith seems to be weak though his interest in social justice is still very strong. That can be a crushing combination. So I look forward to many americana concerts with my old roommate and hopefully some pray time together. And I may just have to confess how he used to make me feel when he walked about in freedom in those tights-whities.

  • I met a gent of the same age and we do a lot of things too. Probably a bit too much. I have never been in a relationship with a man before so the whole thing is new to me and I am experiencing emotions that I have never experienced before. I praying daily that they level out between us, because he too has feelings for me too and wants all this emotional charge to level out. The idea of someday getting a house in the country is very appealing. And we hope that when things finally cool down we can move on to being the best friends ever.

  • Thing 3 rings true for me. I’ve had to get over people thinking I’m gay. The weird thing is, back when I lived in the US, most people who thought I was gay or the guys who gave me their phone numbers and stuff did so while I was at work….. wearing a uniform or following a conservative dress code. I realized that regardless of how I dressed or presented myself, people were going to think I was gay. I didn’t do anything to try to give that impression. People need to stop thinking it’s wrong to be thought of as gay. We cannot control what other people think about us or live our lives controlled by the fear of other people’s judgments of us.

  • I really appreciate this article. I still live at home and I get nervous thinking about the prospects that I’ll probably be paired up to live with another guy in college or even if I live in a house with some guys from church or something. I think the big picture is to seek identity in Christ and then the other nuances will not be as much of a struggle, because they won’t be the focus. But at the same time, the SSA struggle is still real and temptations are still there.

  • Number two – so tough in the moment, but I would agree is actually a good thing!
    Number three – Yup. There have been several conversations where I’ve asked different guy friends if I’m making them uncomfortable – just for hanging out “too much.” The best was when one of my roommates and I were looking for a church, and one that we attended definitely treated us like a couple from the moment we walked in the door – Glad you’re here, know that you two are fully welcomed in THIS church.
    Number four – Not sure I’ve stayed in one place long enough to see this one more fully, but I love the idea of it!
    Additionally, I think living with other guys is teaching me how to be myself. It’s okay to like cooking and the arts. I can enjoy those “less masculine” activities and still spend quality time with my brothers.

  • Kudos on the new homestead C. Again late to the party. Moving out of my parent’s place has taught me independence and out to go about solving problems on my own or with outside help. When I was in college, I had several male roommates, both good and bad. That experience taught me that for the long term it was best I live alone. It was like a forced marriage where we had to figure out how best to get along. One roommate of mine helped me stay accountable to keeping our living area tidy. Sadly, this same roommate on more than one occasion locked me out of the room as he was “entertaining” a lady friend. Seems to happen quite a bit as I’ve heard others’ similar roommate stories. Eventually I left. Depending on the personalities and circumstances, living with another guy can be great, but not for everyone.

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