I have said it time and time again since moving away from Oklahoma; I will only move back if my family needs me to be there. Almost two years ago, I was faced with an impossible choice. Do I make good on a promise to return in my family’s hour of need or do I continue with my life on the west coast? At this point in time, it is abundantly clear where we decided to live, but I would like to share with you all what led us to our decision.
Ultimately, I said no to moving home. While Oklahoma will always have a piece of my heart and has come to define much of who I am today, Brandon and I could not see ourselves comfortably living within the confines of the Sooner State. For all the progress Oklahoma has made in recent years, it appears that there are miles to go before my home state reaches diversity and equality among people of varying races, sexual identities, gender expressions, etc. For me these were battles, I was willing to wage. My multi-racial partner, on the other hand, wasn’t up for the challenge. To call a place home, you must feel safe. Brandon didn’t feel safe with the idea of being who he is in Oklahoma; which breaks my heart.
I left Oklahoma because I desired change. I needed to figure out who I was on an emotional, physical, and spiritual level. I needed to come to terms with my beliefs and who I am as a person. I didn’t feel comfortable exploring these fundamental things about myself in Oklahoma, so I fled to one of the furthest corners of the map and did exactly that. Now, I am more comfortable than ever. I am proud of who I am and what I believe. I don’t have it all figured out, but I have space where I am allowed to question boldly. As a couple, I don’t know if we would have felt comfortable marrying, buying a house, and possibly raising kids in Oklahoma. So, rightly or wrongly, we said no to home. I tell this story as a warning. I am a native son who thought about returning home but thought better of it. Those who lead Oklahoma and make decisions for her should know that.
Be good to each other,
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