In my early 20s, feeling lonely was a personal failure to me. When it crept into my system, I worked to avoid it in several ways, but mostly by attending church.
However, although church was my most frequented communion, I felt like an outsider in this community.
I was 21, in 2017, when I began to recognise how skewed the world was against people who looked like me. I gravitated to Audre Lorde essays, or poems by Nayyirah Waheed and Black literature generally for comfort that the Bible could not provide. I was known to be outspoken, political and proudly Black, within an environment of political conservatives who feared rocking the boat.
Their responses were to ostracize, exclude, misunderstand and mock me for taking my passions seriously. I decided if I was going to be judged for who I was, the person people would receive had to be palatable.