8 April 2009

I feel alienated. How can I meet others in the LGBT community in my country?

I chatted with an online gay friend for a few months and got quite emotionally attached to her till she said she was “tired” of me and wanted to leave. It took me some time to get over it. I have reached out to online LGBT communities within my country but haven’t thought about meeting anyone. I don’t really have any friends at college. I had to come out to a girl I had a huge crush on and she took it well but avoids talking about it. We do chat and that makes me feel better but, of late, her boyfriend has been sticking around her all the time and she doesn’t even notice me. And this guy keeps despising me. I keep feeling like a loser. I can’t even stop talking to her.
My parents are too conservative. They ask if something has been bothering me and I have no answer. They dont even think that I can have problems in life unrelated to my studies. Homosexuality is illegal here and I feel as if I’ve got no future. I feel depressed and alienated from everyone. How do I get on with life?

Lorin Young

Dear An:

Thank you for your letter.

It is difficult to realize who you are and then to feel that others do not accept you. But it is wonderful that you are so clearly sure of who you are and whom you are attracted to. That is a really big step that many people are never able to take. However, it really hurts when you admit to your feelings and then feel rejected. On that note, I think it is really important that you do meet some of the individuals who are part of the LGBT community. If you are feeling depressed and alienated, then it is important that you talk to others who will respect you and who likely have experienced similar circumstances. They will understand what you are going through and be able to provide you a place where you can feel free to be yourself. Are there any parties or meetings that the LGBT sites have been advertising? Maybe you could try going to a couple of events and see if there are others you feel comfortable with. Don’t worry about “meeting anyone” in particular at first, but rather trying to make some new friends who will really understand what you are experiencing.

If you are having other symptoms of depression, including thoughts of suicide or self-harm, insomnia/hypersomnia, changes in appetite (+/- weight changes,) decreased energy, not enjoying normal activities, decreased concentration, and feelings of worthlessness, then you should also speak with a mental health professional to assess whether you need further treatment. The LGBT community would likely know the names of mental health professionals who are open to clients who are homosexual.

I wish you the best of luck. Remember that there are others out there who have encountered similar experiences and have had parallel feelings of depression and alienation – reach out and meet these people.

Take care –

Lorin for Alterheros