Sadly, your story is very much like the stories of many of my gay clients who grew up in a homophobic family and/or unaccepting (even hostile) community. I know it won’t fix everything but it might help you feel a bit better to understand that you are not at all alone in your struggles. Ironically, your fear, your distancing from others, and your self-sabotaging may have helped you survive through your teen years. It’s possible that you were protecting yourself by making yourself invisible and non-threatening. Unfortunately, those behaviors may have become habits that are now in your way.
But now you are 21. You are in college. I hope there are parts of your life where it is safe to claim your sexual identity and to start being your real self. It will be difficult. It’s not like you can flip a switch from being a scared kid in hiding to being a confident adult. But over time you can do it. With some professional help and support, you could do it more easily.
Unfortunately, I don’t know what resources are available in your country. You would benefit from some therapy and an LGBT support group. If that isn’t possible, a place to start is the forum for sexuality issues here at PsychCentral. I also did a little research and found that there are a number of online support groups where you can get both pracical advice and empathetic support from other gay men worldwide. I hope you will explore gaining more self-knowledge through the self-expression your art can provide for you.
I think writing to us here at PsychCentral was one of the many ways that you are coming out and coming into your self. It’s a good start. But it’s only a start. I hope you will continue to look for ways to get help and healing. You deserve it.
I wish you well.