Welcome back, A. I remember the backlash you received, and I wrote a response here. And here. I was a bit afraid to say what I felt but more afraid not to. Incidentally, the public shaming is going on again here and here and unfortunately will arise in any type of forum.
There is no “core group,” and you haven’t been left behind. There are writers more “popular” than others with larger followings, but this isn’t high school with the cool kids, the nerds, etc., Medium isn’t about groups. Medium is about you and what you have to contribute.
I don’t agree with a response you received from Elliot Nichols where he shouts out to a few of his favorite writers here. Sorry Elliot, but you’re making Medium about cliques. If anything, it’s about genres. So shout out to your “friends” in categories (fiction, nonfiction, poetry).
Yes, there are some aggressive voices here that scream to be heard, but yours is every bit as important as theirs. So please don’t hide in the medium shadows afraid to express yourself, cowering in fear of the loud voices who may or may not attack. Be yourself. Be honest and true to you. Isn’t that most important?