Integrating Identities

Countries outside of the US have varying levels of acceptance of LGBTQ identities. International students may struggle with the decision to come out to family and friends back home.

Student perspectives:

“I have realized that the empowerment and self-acceptance I experienced at Michigan has ironically wedged me apart from my home and family culture. It’s almost as if my LGBTQ identity became mutually exclusive from my cultural and familial identities. I suspect this may have something to do with the fact that acceptance in the very white LGBTQ community at Michigan requires an amount of assimilation that makes it difficult to compromise my home culture with my LGBTQ identity.”

“Gaining acceptance at home is an ongoing battle and a very difficult one at that. I often say, ‘acts of translation are an ongoing process.’ Through my volunteering work, I wish to win the support of my family and enlarge their understanding of the issues at stake. I am trying and so are they.”

Please Note: These are the perspectives of different U-M students and do not reflect the University of Michigan’s point of view.

Many More Identities

We all have many identities that we are navigating, beyond being international students or LGBT. For more information on how some of these other identities intersect with being LGBT, you can start by visiting Spectrum Center's Integrating Identities page. Some other topics include: ability status, age, race/ethnicity, first generation student, religion, native american, and socio-economic status/class.