If you're relatively young you can still get away with the "she/he is my room mate" , at least from my experiences. In this economy people seem to more easily accept the fact you need to get someone in to help pay the rent/mortgage.
We have a large family get together for me and the 1st gf later this year. Still not sure what we'll be calling the second gf by that stage. Some know, but most don't. Ah well, we don't _need_ any of them in our lives if that's what they want, so it doesn't really matter in the end. People that are still dependent on their parents/family (whether financially, emotionally, etc) probably have the hardest time of anyone coming out. All that fear.