My experiences here made me realize that what I have been taught to believe my whole life doesn’t fit with who I really am. I grew up in a very conventional community different from the United States with respect to gender roles and sexuality. When I got here, I was afraid to ask myself “Who am I and what is my identity?” I was so distressed. After many sleepless nights and time spent thinking and crying, I eventually talked to someone at the RIT Counseling Center. It took time, but I’m at peace with the understanding that I do not embody the same beliefs and principles as the community I grew up in.
I am still not sure if I would find acceptance from my family and friends back home but I know I am more comfortable with my identity and like myself much more.