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My church in my hometown was founded by my great grandfather along with a few cousins and other black folks that lived close by. The church was about a tenth of a mile from my family’s land. My elementary school sits on land donated by my church. The grocery store we frequented was across the street from the school and church. My life as a child consisted of moving through a very sheltered and small triangle. 

I grew up going to Sunday school, devotional, and then the regular church service. We spent a minimum of 6 hours in the tiny air condition free church sitting on hardwood benches. The sermons never seemed happy to me as a kid. I feel like I always heard about what bad things awaited me if I didn’t live my life according to the Bible. 

Reading time: 3 min

Today is National Coming Out Day. It’s general Pride here in Atlanta. It’s also the weekend before my birthday. I’m in a pensive mood, so I’d like to share how I embraced my sexuality.

As a child, I remember looking through the Sunday sales papers at any ad that had bras in them. I would turn the papers at different angles to try to look through them and into them. I was 6 or 7 years old.

Reading time: 2 min

I’d stopped at the twenty-four-hour Kroger by my house. I’d had a full night with the girls celebrating a birthday. I’d gotten my tongue pierced with the birthday girl. We drank frozen margaritas thinking that it would help the swelling. It didn’t. By the time I sobered up enough to drive, my tongue was throbbing, swelling, and talking was out of the question. I could feel regret bubbling up in my chest. I wanted to pick up some Listerine so I’d be prepared for whatever this new piercing brought my way in the morning. Or in a few hours because it was already after two am. 

Reading time: 2 min