LET’S START WITH YOUR EARLY YEARS IN CHICAGO; HOW DID YOU ESTABLISH YOUR FOUNDATION HERE?
I moved to Chicago 4 years ago, and what propelled me to move was my search for love, resources, and opportunities. After graduating from Beloit College in Wisconsin, moving back home was not an option. I was suffering a lot during my early year’s post graduation. I knew relocating back to Tampa was not going to add value to my life, in that lane. After weighing my options I noticed how Chicago was a) the nearest city, and b) a city where I knew enough of to navigate.
I moved into a studio apartment with a friend of mine for 4 months, and the rest is history.
WERE THERE ANY INTERNAL STRUGGLES YOU HAD TO OVERCOME?
When I was 21, I discovered that I was HIV positive, and that was 6 months after I came out to my parents at 20. I was admitted to a mental hospital for thoughts of suicide, and an attempted one as well. It was a complete blur during those moments. I remember looking in the mirror and not even recognizing myself. It was just death staring back at me. I began pondering what more could happen to me.
I went from pulling myself off academic probation but also splitting from my first love. All of these events were transpiring towards the end o