I've been teased for all sorts of things, including having a big head and even having a low, deep voice. During those times of criticism I didn't know how I should react to the things people said. I just knew that no matter how personal the verbal attacks were, I must continue to walk tall. Thinking back to those days, internally I was devastated because I didn't understand why I was such a target for people to talk about; nor did I understand why people thought I was abnormal compared to them. One would think about being different was good, but obviously it was the other way around to them. On the positive side, I learned one important thing: Be who I am.
People will judge you for being African American, homosexual, nerdy, homophobic, intelligent, and for even being successful. Why is that? For one, we as humans are afraid to accept and learn about things that we don't understand. It's one of those, “If it's not what I believe in, it's not right” type of thing. Life isn't anybody's “my way or the highway”. If one is not willing to learn about lifestyles and religions that they don't understand, then let them live as miserable as they chose to be. Personally, I am a Christian, but that doesn't mean that I dislike Catholics or any person affiliated with another religion. I let people live their life, while I live my own life.
Secondly, the thought of someone being successful and actually achieving their dreams is difficult to swallow (for some people). As mentioned earlier, I let people live their life, while I live my own life. That same sentence can apply to the principle that all people can, and should be successful. The more successful we all are, the better the economy will be; and the greater our lives will be. We have to stop marginalizing people, because we don't understand why they are the way they are, or why they live the way they do. Be real with yourself: It's none of your business how anybody lives their life. Worry about you and you only (unless you have a child and/or have a significant other).
With all of that said, be who you are. There obviously are people, even family and friends that don't understand you, but stay true to you. Yes, at times it will be very challenging. However, you will face darker obstacles than criticism. Hearing people talk about you and refer to you as “different” should be seen as a positive. Being like everybody else is not a requirement. Live your life, which means do what you want to do. If you care about what people jabber, then live that miserable life. All I'm trying to say is that it's wise to stay true to you, even beyond criticism and misunderstanding from others. When people see that their words bother you, they will continue to lower your self-esteem. Pledge to me that you want let that be, because you love who you are.