I am an international student here. I am not comfortable socially with people and I think of myself as a misfit. I feel negative about myself which I think is mostly due to my sexuality. I was brought up in India and am here as an international student. I do not mix with people most of the time and generally feel left out. I feel everyone around me is different from the way I am and not like me which adds to my misfit thoughts. I feel if anyone knows the real me, they are going to make fun of me and think I’m weird. I know this is not true but this is how I feel on the inside. Being in the USA makes me feel more vulnerable as I am living with roommates from India and I don’t hang out with them most of the time giving some paltry excuse like “work.” I don’t feel free in front of them. Is there anything I can do to make myself feel more loved and normal?
washington dc DC
Leaving your home and coming to a new country to study demonstrates a tremendous amount of strength. It can be very difficult being away from familiar surroundings, your family and your friends. It can take time to feel comfortable with new people and a new environment. Sometimes, it can help socially to get involved with organizations or groups that you find interesting. It may make it easier being with people who share some common interests.
Dealing with being gay is a process that takes a great deal of work given the varied messages that we hear about homosexuality. Due to the damaging messages that we receive from many different sources, gay individuals can experience what you describe, namely, feeling that they don't fit in, feeling on the outside, feeling like a misfit and feeling bad about themselves. In addition, these negative messages can contribute to the fear that one may feel in disclosing one's sexual orientation. This feeling of having to hide who you are can stop you from being yourself or as you describe, not feeling free. Feeling more confident about yourself and your sexual orientation can take many steps. Socializing and discussing your feelings with other gay men can be one of those steps. If you feel comfortable, it may help to seek out gay groups on campus or within the city. In addition, if you have not done so, please call The Trevor Helpline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR. You will be able to speak with someone who understands the struggles you are confronting and can make referrals to gay organizations in your area.