All of us want to fit in. It does not matter if you are black,white, tall,short, hearing or deaf. Noone wants to stand out or be left alone. Even those kids who say they dress "Goth" or "Emo" to be "different" are really not different,as they are fitting into that mold.
People with hearing loss have a hard time fitting in at times. There are deaf people who have no usable hearing-do they sign and consider themselves Deaf and part of the Deaf community or do they talk and use cochlear implants and consider themselves Hard of Hearing and join the Hearing community?Do they use hearing aids and speak and consider themselves "hearing"? Are they hard of hearing medically,but sign and throw away their aids and consider themselves part of the Deaf community? Are they hard of hearing and speak or sign and consider themselves part of the Hearing Community?
I have had students who fit all of those categories. It is hard enough to be a teen,let alone figure out where you fit in. I had a student who was a jock,star athlete, very popular, smart,but who felt he did not fit in. He only felt good once a year when he wen to the Lions' Camp to be with other kids with hearing loss. He eventually left the public school attended the state school for the deaf and then went off to MSSD in Washington DC to finish out HS with other deaf and HH children. I have kids who don't sign and speak well and have friends. Their friends consider them "hearing",but the kids feel lost and confused. They don't fit in fully in the hearing world,because they use hearing aids and need an FM or closed captioning. I have students who sign and have no peers in school to communicate with.
As adults, it is a bit easier, as we can pick our friends and groups a bit more readily. However, most of the deaf/Deaf people I know work in the Hearing Community-some feel like they fit in,but others do not. Some are only comfortable when they are with the Deaf Community. Others are not comfortable in the Deaf Community,but rather thrive in the Hearing Community. It is all about being comfortable in your own shoes. Just know that as life changes,where you fit in changes,whether you have hearing loss or not. That is a normal part of our journey through life.
Where do you fit in ?How do you handle it?
Allison Schley has been in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education for 20 years. She founded a nonprofit for families with hearing loss. She most recently wrote a children's book, entitled Forever Friends. This book shows the how a deaf dog and deaf boy teach the world that all kids are good and being deaf is okay.