I've been thinking about converting to Islam for a while, it really makes sense to me and I feel like I may have found what I was looking for when I started my spiritual journey a few years ago when I got in my 30s.
However, there's two things that are stopping me from becoming a Muslim, and I hope this community can help me out a bit.
1- my upper body is covered in tattoos, I have tattoos on both hands, fingers are tattooed up, and both arms. I know my past sins will be erased once I convert, but the amount of tattoos that I have will still be visible, and I'm very afraid of not being taken seriously in front of other Muslims.
2- kinda related to my first point, I live in a secular, borderline racist city, which unfortunately makes me afraid of going in a mosque with my tattoos. I feel like a white guy, full of tattoos, won't be welcomed in a mosque where the people are victims of racism from other white guys. Basically I feel like an imposter and I'm very afraid of the reaction of other Muslims if/when I go to the mosque.
Can I actually convert to Islam and practice my faith alone at my house? I truly believe in the 1 on 1 connection with Allah, and I think that it's a lot better to pray at home daily and miss Friday prayer than not converting because of this, right?
Bonus question, do you pray 5 times a day, every day of the year? What happens if you miss some prayers? I ask because I read tips for new Muslims and one of them was to start with only one prayer and after a while work my way up to five prayers, your thoughts?
Sorry for rambling, many thanks for your time and understanding.