[EDITED: I just realized that the title of this post could be taken a way I totally didn't mean...changing it now! Great example of how learning another language is a really difficult experience. Saying "People like me" could mean what the title now says or it could mean "You like me, you really like me" and the difference is in tone only, even though English is not a tonal language. Argh!)
I was doing some Internet searches and I came across much more encouraging things than I have in the past.
On one webpage, a man asks, "How are whites received by the Hindu community? My instinct tells me that I'd be met with some xenophobia and seen as an outsider and an oddity; something of a wanna-be."
The responses are very encouraging, telling him that it is common to see white people at temples now. (I've never seen that, but I've been too shy to go all that often).
I haven't read through it yet, but I also found a blog http://western-hindu.org/ about someone who is a westerner and a convert to Hinduism.
Another blog I found that I'm really enjoying is about a Dominican woman who converted to Orthodox Judaism. Reading through her posts, it's remarkable how much converts have in common, regardless of the religion they are moving to. A couple of things that were very familiar were when she talked about how she felt her soul had always been Jewish and that when she learned about how God was viewed in Judaism it matched exactly the belief she already had in her heart. Her struggles to be accepted in a tight-knit group of people who are a different ethnicity from her are very inspiring. http://www.alizahausman.net/
I haven't been back to the temple since Ram Navami, but I feel so encouraged by the recent things I've found that I'm going to go back soon. I'm also thinking about signing up for some of the programs offered by Chinmaya Mission. They are a world-wide organization with a reputation for being welcoming of all Hindus.
I've been so worried about coming across, as the man above said, like a "wanna-be", but I have to learn to accept that I can't control how others will view me. It really is okay if people think I'm doing this because it's exotic or cool, I know my own reasons and that is all that matters.