I’d like to say I met a wonderful guy during my teenage years who disproved this notion, made me feel lovable, or that I somehow reached a higher level of consciousness between bell choir and Latin class and decided it was enough to love myself. I didn’t. It would take about fifteen years, when I moved outside of the United States, for a significant shift in my thinking. During the in-between years, despite beautiful friendships, academic accolades, and moving to college in New York City, my weight consumed me…

Near the Loire, the elaborate, immaculately kept homes and offices of slave traders still stand in plain sight. Soiled by time, their stature began to sink into the sand. What remains is their bravado: across the buildings, carvings of stone heads narrate the wealth of their former owners …

I like to joke that none of the boys I liked appreciated The 1975, an alternative rock band I fell for at 16, and that’s why it never worked out with them. They were soft, intellectual boys, both too mature and too immature, hardened by some incomprehensible thing I can’t describe so I’ll settle on naming it “maleness”…