One of my biggest struggles I’ve faced in all of my life, is fitting in. Every single day, I face issues that I don’t talk about with anybody about who I fit in with. Firstly, as an openly gay man. I don’t feel like I fit into the LGBTQ+ community. Mainly because I find a lot of the ‘cliques’ within this group very small minded. A lot of people I have encountered have played up to their sexuality, and lived their life through this. I feel like I am more of an open-minded, free spirit that doesn’t want to ‘conform’ to a specific group of people.
Turn around, and look at my life in the deaf community. I’ve grown up going to deaf clubs, mingling and socialising with D/deaf people. However, I’m also an outsider here. This is because of my ‘hearing privilege’, which I completely understand it is a privilege. Obviously a lot of my work has been around deaf topics, but I’m still an outsider here too, as I’m not officially D/deaf.
Look at any social situations I’ve been in, I’ve always been the guy who’s slightly different. Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely proud of my differences, but sometimes it’s quite lonely. Not fitting into any boxes that society wants to label you as, is really tough. I am proud of who I am, and what I believe in, but finding somewhere that I am truly accepted is one of my life’s biggest challenges.
I have never spoken to anyone about this, and I think the reason I wanted to write a little about it, is because I’d love to know if there are other people who feel a similar way to myself. Are there more people out there who struggle to fit in? Why do they struggle? How do they cope? Please shine some light onto this issue!