FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Do You Do When You Finally Make It Home?

Feature image via Shutterstock

Y’all, we made it! We’re here inside the Friday Open Thread, which means it’s FRIDAY. Isn’t that wonderful? Welcome to this weekly hotbed of debauchery, cat gifs and feelings. I’m so happy to see you!

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about home as a concept. In the last eight years I’ve lived in 11 different houses and apartments in three different cities in two different countries, repeatedly packing up my favorite flannel and my poetry books and carting them around in trucks and on planes. I have called a lot of places home, created communities and put down roots. But there is something about being HOME, in Dallas, where I grew up with my family in the suburbs and went from squealing infant to full-grown voting-age human that makes me feel rooted and lets me see myself clearly.

Having the most recognizable skyline in the world isn't half bad either. Photo by Nick Oberheiden, Flickr creative commons

Having the most recognizable skyline in the world isn’t half bad either. Photo by Nick Oberheiden, Flickr creative commons

On my most recent visit to my parents’ place, I realized that I have a few routine activities that really make Dallas and its various uniform suburban hellholes feel like home, things I do every time I go to Dallas that I don’t do anywhere else (even though I probably could). They include:

  • Eat cheese enchiladas at the Blue Goose Cantina on Lower Greenville
  • Try to buy jeans at the mall until the word “skinny” swims in front of my eyes and I give up
  • Buy at least one exquisitely weird item at Buffalo Exchange

Taking horse shirts to a whole nother level

  • Have exactly one fight with my mom until neither of us quite know why we’re mad anymore
  • Dance alone to the entirety of Colored By Numbers by Culture Club on my record player
  • Make plans to go two-stepping that inevitably fall through

What makes home home for you? Maybe you don’t identify much with your home town, but like, what’s that place that makes your heart beat get regular? What do you do there? What does it smell like?

Plus, as always, please tell me about your week! Or your plans for the weekend. Or your fur friends! I want it all. Grab a drink and a pack of Fig Newtons and let’s gab, fam.

p.s. Feel free to use this as an opportunity to keep talking about A-Camp. I see you.

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix! KINDA LIKE THIS:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Adrian is a writer, a Texan and a Presbyterian pastor. They write about bisexuality, gender, religion, politics, music and a whole lot of feelings at Autostraddle and wherever fine words are sold. They have a dog named after Alison Bechdel. Follow Adrian on Twitter @adrianwhitetx.

Adrian has written 153 articles for us.


  1. 1. Go to the pel meni joint by the wharf
    2. Go downtown with my aunt to the thrift store she’s slowly becoming more devoted to(she helped them move buildings, she doesn’t even work there)
    3. Decide to take the bus somewhere
    3a. Decide I have enough time to walk to the next stop
    3b. Decide I’m halfway there anyway
    3c. Walk way longer than I thought it would be in the rain
    4. I was taking the bus to a hiking trail
    5. Fuck it
    6. Come back to my aunts for dinner, soaked and shivering like a drowned kitten
    7. Scald myself in the shower

    • <3 <3 <3 getting pel meni at the wharf is probably my most constant homecoming ritual. And regardless of the season, I always manage to find myself on the beach at Auke Rec, either having a fire and drinking Alaskan with friends, or on my own taking all the deep, appreciative breaths. That's where I used to go when I was fighting with my mom after coming out, and it's still my most calming place.

      • The Flume’s mine, I talked Rivera into letting me just walk that every day for a semester of personal fitness, I could probably do those stairs still asleep

  2. I recently discovered that the beach that I really enjoy walking along is in fact a nude beach. I was a little disappointed, not because there were naked people but because the beach is a great place to bird watch.

    and as I am sure they wouldn’t mind a fully clothed person chillin on the rocks and watching birds, it makes me uncomfortable. So I have to find a new place to go bird watching.

    Here a couple of shots from the family friendly part of the beach.


      • It’s Crescent Beach in South Surrey. The tide was just going out so it looks like I was standing in the water when I really wasn’t.

        • The first year I came here, I went swimming there in April (! – it was super warm that year). I remember feeling as though I was living in the most magical place. All the eagles were watching me from the shore, and there was no one around.

          Do you live around White Rock?

          • Kind of. I live in Surrey but really close to South Surrey so the beach is like a 10 min drive which is nice. Do you?

  3. Home for me needs natural beauty. Trails to hike, trees, parks. I love the city, but it needs urban parks to walk to and mountains to drive to.

    Home needs mountains. I lived in Indiana after college for a couple years, but it was too flat. I need topography. And home needs water too. I love the puget sound and abundance of rivers and lakes and puddles and rain.

    I love Tacoma. I did a lot of growing here. I moved around a lot lately, but this feels like home.

    Hm… I guess home is more tied to external environment stuff than social stuff for me. I also don’t care much how big or small my apartment is, but it must be clean and clutter free.

    In other news…

    (Warning: rambling, slightly melancholy paragraphs ahead)

    I’ve found myself uneasy and restless lately. Mary Oliver asked, “What is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?” I’ve had this crazy thought of wanting to try grad school again, even though the first time I dropped out because I wasn’t in a good place at the time. But it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, even after quitting. Sometimes I’m ready to make a giant leap of faith. I’ve had so many things that I’ve tried and failed at, but in my opinion, the worst thing you can do is stay stagnant. But I’d start out aiming for a masters instead of a PhD this time, less daunting goal. Maybe go into something different this time. I want to learn about everything! My bachelor’s degree is in chemistry, but then I think “but I find cognitive neuropsychology so fascinating! And marine biology! And environmental studies!” So I bury myself in nonfiction instead. I find myself constantly plugged in to audiobooks from the library as I go about my daily life, whether hiking or driving or working or doing chores.

    And speaking of books… Have you ever had a book that you tell yourself you should put down because it TERRIFIES you, but you just can’t stop because it’s simultaneously so chilling and gripping? That book for me is Still Alice. It’s so heartwrenching. Memory loss is what scares me to my deepest core. It is my all time biggest fear, both for myself and those I love. I know rationally that 20-somethings can’t get Alzheimers, but I’m a hypochondriac and obsess over every little brain slip. And being stressed decreases cognitive functioning, so it’s a vicious cycle. I saw it in my grandfather, though I didn’t really know him well before his dementia, so it didn’t carry as much emotional weight as it might have if I had seen his former self.

    And then I think to myself, I WANT TO CURE THIS and every other awful disease. I worked on a drug to help with Alzheimers a couple years back at my old job. It never went to market, but we’ll hopefully publish a paper soon. A cure can’t come soon enough. I want that disease obliterated. Do you ever just get sad because there is so much horrible suffering in this world and wars and environmental destruction and you just feel helpless to do anything about it? So I resort to distraction and denial and do small acts of kindness when I can.

    I digress. On a happier note: HUGE COLORFUL MOTHS!

    It was very warm and sunny over my days off, which means lots of hiking and beachwalks. And allergies and sunburns. In the months of May or June, my skin generally transitions from pale to lobster to tan. And now I’m peeling and somewhere between burnt and tan.

    Also I saw a giant moth! I later looked it up and found out that it was a polyphemus moth.

    And on another positive note: a couple weeks ago Tacoma approved an initiative for a $15 minimum wage to be voted on in November! So hopefully Tacoma will follow Seattle’s lead and vote it in. Last January, Tacoma passed a sick leave law that required businesses to give employees 3 days sick leave (starting next year, Feb 2016), so we’re making progress.

    Also: beautiful outdoors photos!

    My favorite mountain

    The water is so blue (and it was really warm here too, because it was in direct sunlight and fairly shallow for a ways out)

    • Mary Oliver doesn’t always have the answers, but she makes me ask all the right questions. Thank you for the beautiful photos!!

  4. I’ve been in Peru for the last four months, and in four weeks when I get home, I’m not even sure it’ll feel like home anymore, it’s been so long. But in any case I’ve got a list of Texas-centric to-do’s:
    – Firstly and most importantly, the visit to Taquería El Trébol in Waxahachie, where I ordered a torta fajita every Wednesday of high school and politely rebuked the owner’s attempts to set me up with her nephew
    – lay in the pasture behind my parents’ house at night and see every star that ever thought about being a star.
    – go for a long, hot run where the only creatures I see are cows. Regret my decision immediately upon hitting the shadeless blacktop.
    – go to Target. Oh, sweet Target, how I’ve missed you.
    I’ll probably be bored out of my mind when i get there, but right now it seems like a dream.

  5. I’m not sure what/where home is for me, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

    I have a job interview in 2 hours. Eek! Im actually super excited, and only a little nervous.

    My play was last weekend. It was a great experience, but I’m honestly kind of glad it’s over, so I can focus on new adventures, like my job interview and research for my new musical.

    I got to show everyone at Fun Home my ring of keys tattoo. That was pretty epic. They all loved it, and the writer gave me and my tattoo a shout-out during her toast at the Tony party. I’m on my phone now, but I’ll post a picture when I’m on my computer tonight or tomorrow.

    Someone told me this week that I have a perfect life. This baffles me, as I’ve dealt with so much shit, and I can’t fathom my life being anywhere near perfect. I’ve worked my ass off to get where I am, yet I still have a long way to go. And nobody is perfect. I just can’t imagine anyone wanting my life. If only they knew…

    • I’m so glad your play turned out to be an amazing experience!! I feel like it’s been in the making for so long, and now it was real! Awesome.

    • I hope the interview went well! It sounds like the play went well and I’m glad about that! Sounds like your tattoo was a hit! Yay!

      We all have our shit, I hope yours is bearable and the worst is in your past. <3

  6. Ohh man. I’ve been thinking so much about stuff like this lately, but I gotta keep it brief because it is 2am here and I have to be up in 2.5 hours — I’m “home” for good now, I suppose, but it’s been hard to really make sense of what that means and why it even matters. Homecoming rituals during uni vacations used to include eating tauhuay, dyeing my girlfriend’s/s’ hair (and vice versa), and going swimming with my small siblings, all of which I’ve done, but things I’ve done a million times before feel different when I’m now not cramming in as much of “home” as I can before I leave again but instead establishing routines and (re)relationships that are really rooted here.

    Also I finally finished unpacking today. (I landed in Singapore almost 2 weeks ago. WELL.)

    • Fikri I feel this so hard as I’m pondering going back to Texas to live as opposed to just floating in and out of it. Also omg what color is your hair now??

    • I came home 11 years ago, I finished unpacking by binning a heap of old life two autumns back when I was forced to just throw out stuff due to an attic mould incident. Congrats on unpacking in 2 weeks! :D

  7. This is so apt! I’m currently travelling to my home home/parents’ home. And what makes me feel good is the accents! Just changed train and all the northerners are here making me excited to see my family and pets and how much the siblings have grown. And tell them all the exciting things I did at camp! The filtered down version obv. There are some things they need never know…

  8. I’m sort of on the other side of this, because in three weeks I’m moving out of Dallas and into Portland to work in cancer research (something I’m HUGELY looking forward to), but I already know what I’ll miss.

    -comparing the cows by my apartment to the cows by my parents’ house down near Waxahachie
    -interstate 45 when it’s late and empty and you feel so beautifully alone
    -Chicken Express sweet tea and corn nuggets
    -playing mario kart with my sisters and eating ring pops until I can no longer fully open my mouth
    -the northern suburbs so newly developed, they feel like theme parks
    -half-dead shopping malls
    -the backseat of my dad’s yukon

  9. I’m currently in China for an internship, but in 2 months when I get back to PDX, I will cuddle the shit out of my 2 cats and thank god that they’re not going to be *casually* racist like the other 2 girls I’m sharing living space with. PSA: Just because I grew up in America doesn’t mean I don’t identify as Asian/won’t be offended/enraged by your ignorant comments.

    So I guess home is the liberal embrace of Portland (that I am currently yearning for) and 2 fuzzy companions that will snuggle you and be annoyed that you have the audacity to make any slight movements that might disrupt their naps.

  10. Home is my dog. She’s a 6.5lbs chihuahua who defies all the stigmas of a small dog. I’m actually not convinced that she isn’t a part of my soul that chipped away long ago during childhood and found its way back to me. I’ve had dogs before her and I am sure I’ll have more once our time together is done but no one will ever come close to what she and I have.

  11. hi babelinesses of babeliness,

    I am super bummed out by the news, but I just watched this and I love Jay Smooth:

    And the only thing I can think of, since I live in my hometown and hang out my mom’s house on the semi-regular (bc whenever I show up by myself or with my gf or friends her response is to be like do you want to have some rose and sit on the patio, yes I do mom, yes I do) is that she buys pretty much all her groceries at costco in spite of the fact that she lives mostly alone, (but me and my three brothers descend upon the house like hungry vultures, I guess?) and as soon as I walk in the door I’m like,”Maaaaaaaaaaa” and then I stick my head in the fridge to look for her fancy deli meat. It’s so good! And my gf doesn’t buy that stuff!

    Sorry if I ate your lunch Ma. I can take you out to pho later.

  12. Earlier this year I had one of those friend breakups (to be real: initiated by/bridge napalmed 100% by me, caused by two people who had been toxic for longer than I care to admit) that unmoored me, so I’ve been like “is NYC still home?” and also “if I leave, they win” this past spring.

    And then I went and visited approximately 8 square blocks of San Francisco and was like, oh, yeah, I get it now, why people want to be here. I keep making noises about moving but, I’m turning 30 in less than a month. I don’t believe in chasing dreams, I believe in having a lease and putting food on my table and my friends’ tables.

    On the plus side, it’s made my previous threat to move to Seattle look like a reasonable, adult, measured decision that couldn’t possibly go wrong.

    • This is late but, congratulations on the friend breakup! I know, that sounds odd to say. But in the midst of all the confused, angry, paradoxical feelings, I always find friend breakups to ultimately be…relieving. Maybe I’m way off the mark for you, so my apologies ahead of time.
      Ahh, wanting to move but also being practical-minded. I feel ya. I value new experiences a lot, so I would lean on moving away. I don’t know your whole situation though, so whatever decision you make, I trust it’s what’s needed. Good luck! Also Happy Early Birthday! In case I forget when it rolls around. (I will)

  13. I’m moving to a new city in 62 days — I’ve been living in this place for almost 6 years now but I’ve traveled lots. Somehow, I feel like a nomad nowadays so the whole concept of being “home” is somewhat alien to me. However, I’m having a hard time moving away from my family and friends because I know from previous experience that nothing will really be the same – especially once I fully come out to my parents.

    In other news… I should have listened to y’all’s wisdom and NOT FALL FOR THE STRAIGHT ONE (even when she told me she liked me liked me and wanted to be with me. But ever since that day, she refuses to hang out with me or anything. Ugh…) Lesson learned. But it still burns.

    • sorry about straight girl. :(

      exciting that your move is so soon! I should be moving in a few months too, though I don’t have that figured out at all yet.

  14. Hello Straddlers! So last week I posted about being unhappy with my business partners about the state of our production company, catching a partner in a bunch of lies, her having an unhealthy relationship with a client who is an alcoholic, and a bunch of other not-so-nice things thus making me slowly step away and apply to new jobs (Sadly, I posted a MASSIVE entry on a reply. I’ll blame it on typing it on my iPhone and too much OITNB; by the way, gangsta Piper turns me on.) Well folks, I scored a new job with a rapidly growing tech company working on their creative direction and branding. I couldn’t pass up on the salary, the benefits yada yada yada. I started this week, and I mesh really well with everyone (My gaydar is on point, there’s another Sapphic sister in the office among the geek chic tech bros). It was the career shift I needed.

    I told my business partners that I scored a new job, they didn’t take it well at all, but what are they going to do? Fact of the matter is, the company is in the red and my bank account was getting smaller and smaller and I needed financial stability. I told them I’m not leaving the company yet (I will however very soon), but then an assistant of mine texted me saying that “A. said you just upped and quit with no warning.” This is the exact BS I wanted to break away from. The lying and the “She says, she says” nonsense.

    Anyway, this week was certainly a turning point for me for positive growth! :)

    • Wow, this is really amazing news. Congratulations on acquiring this fantastic new position – I won’t call it luck, because resumes with experience don’t grow on Luck Trees, they grow on Experience Trees.

      • When you said “resumes with experience don’t grow on Luck Trees.” I thought of Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia saying, “Get a job? Why don’t I go into a job cannon and fire off into job land where jobs grow on jobbies.” :P

    • Congrats on the new job, I hope it is sweet and drama free! Sucks that people you should’ve been able to trust turned out so bad. Hope it all turns out ok.

      • Thanks, dude! You live and learn. I’m still passionate about the entertainment industry, but I learned that I want to focus more on comedy projects that are meaningful for the LGBTQ community, and of course step away from toxic individuals who are self destructing before their careers are even off the ground. Just because I now have a stable 10-7 gig doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my screenwriting career. They didn’t get that. It was assumed that, “Oh, Kayla is just abandoning this lifestyle to be a corporate drone.” Couldn’t be further from the truth…

  15. This week, Audrey. This week. I feel like I’ve been in constant motion for the last two months, as every single part of my daily routine has been upset, for good reasons that don’t keep them from being exhausting.

    Last weekend was my last trip to the house my parents and sister have lived in for the past six years. I didn’t really think about it that way until I got there, and then I quickly had a panic over missing the routines I’d made to comfort myself there for the last half-decade. I never lived in that house, not really, but I have a room there, and I know how the shower works, and where we keep the cookie sheets, and not to take the tape off the fireplace vent because that’s how the wasps keep getting in. I know the quietest, emptiest places at the local nature reserve, where turtles sun themselves and woodpeckers make a racket that can break through an anxiety attack. I know what time to go down to the beach if I want to take perfectly lit photos. I know exactly how far to drive from the house if I want to listen to “Welcome Home” by Coheed & Cambria on the drive back.

    For six years, these were my routines, comforting me in a place I didn’t particularly like or dislike, but which I returned to annually to see the people I love. It’s not the home I’ve had the most contentious or complicated relationship with, but it’s still sad and strange to say goodbye.

  16. I don’t really know where ‘home’ is. I’m British but currently live in Spain. Spain isn’t my long term plan and I don’t think it’ll ever feel like ‘home’ to me. My home town in the UK also doesn’t really feel like home. I imagine I’ll eventually find somewhere that feels like that.

    Having said that, I do miss Britain and am looking forward to spending time there in August. Priorities include going for cream tea (with scones, of course).

    In other news, my long-distance American partner will be coming to visit me here on Monday and I am exceedingly excited about that :)

    • Yay for gf visits. I’m “home” in my hometown but it also doesn’t feel like home so I hear that, however you can get a monster cream tea here so I’ll take it. Enjoy yours when you’re back here in August. :)

  17. For me, home is wherever I feel safe. It can be with certain people, it can be when I’m home in my apartment, with only my dog Watson for company, it can be when I’m driving somewhere in my car.

    Home is a concept I’ve been thinking about a lot this past week. It was a very rough, very stressful week, and as a result I’m currently balled up on my couch underneath the softest blankets known to man rocking a 102 degree fever. Between the last month at work and the last week of my personal life, I guess my body had enough. But hey, it’s not every week that your mother indulges in too much Jameson and calls you a sad and pathetic excuse for a daughter. Fun times!

    Anyways, here’s a picture of my Watson. He’s such a great little puppy. I think he also knows that I feel horrible, because he’s just sitting and staring at me. Well, except when I try to take a picture of him, as shown below.

    What happens when you want to cuddle with Watson, and he is having none of it:

    And then…success!

  18. Home has been a tricky concept for me too, in the last few years. I spent 5 years after college living in DC and pining for California as my “true home”. But now that I’m back in California, it’s not quite feeling like home anymore either (for many many reasons). I think the home I’m really looking for is a place where I’m comfortable to be my whole self- and SF isn’t quite meeting that need for me (for many many reasons). But also maybe it will happen with time? But also, i know everyone says this, but a-camp did feel a lot like what I imagine home to feel like. So maybe it’s also about finding/connecting with community.

    In other news, next weekend is pride and some of the most perfect humans from camp/The Beehive will be gracing my living room/sleeping nook + getting tattoos together. CAN’T WAIT. (Wish you were here, Audrey)

    • You know I will be there in spirit, screaming my little pink lungs out and winking about all the French toast <3

  19. Home is transient to me. Melbourne (Australia) will always be my original home, the place I grew up and became the person I am. Buuuut I’m not wedded to the place and I’m excited for my future home/s.

    My week has been tiring. I had the longest Saturday June 13, flying from Australia to NYC. I’m acclimatising to the humidity and trying to sort out what that means for my hair, haven’t quite got that nailed. Right now I’m on the train to DC, because yay/I like DC/why not? Plus I’m excited to party with the DC straddlers.

  20. Home for me right now is making me heartsick, probably because I’ve lived here my entire life, and I’m no longer in angsty teen/early 20s ‘Oh my god I have to GTFO of this awful cityyy’ mode and I actually love it a lot. But it is a love that is fully aware of its flaws and the ways in which it is hindering my growth and its complicity in my bad habits. Ugh.

    Anyway. I’m finally putting my money where my mouth is, and it’s going to have to be Chicago (although Montreal is my, shall we say, stretch goal). Wonder when whatever new place I end up in will start to feel like home.

    Wow okay that stirred up some feelings I wasn’t ready for, let me go do the opposite of that right now

  21. “Home” is such a loaded concept.
    I feel like my soul is split in between Berlin and Florida, but both places have changed so much that I feel perennially displaced.
    You hear the crickets chirp after the rain in those balmy Floridian nights, but nothing beats a warm summernight in Berlin.
    You have the windows open, and so does everyone else.
    Somewhere, someone practices the clarinet, somewhere a baby cries and the muted sounds of the TV drift across the warm streets covered by the murmur of talk or laughter nearby.
    It doesn’t get quite dark until eleven and it’s light again by four.
    During the days, the asphalt will beat the heat back at you and nobody is used to it and everybody dresses impossibly.
    You sit outside then, streetside, in Cafès and kebabshops, reading and chatting with friends or working on whatever, tanning or in the shade, quietly relaxing.
    That said we’re having fall weather right now, cold and rainy, and it is depressing as all hell;-)
    My week has been rather like a dream, because I have been so bone tired that I have spent the better part of it sleepwalking through my days.
    I don’t know what’s up with that.
    I feel like I’m cycling the Burn Out out of my system in stages, and now,four months after quitting my job, I could sleep all day.
    I go to bed early, I take naps in the afternoons, despite any and all amounts of coffee.
    But even then, I’m just dragging myself around, from one place to another, unwillingly.
    It’s very impressive,actually.
    I probably just caught some virus that I need to get out of my system, but I must admit, I do feel like that Disney Princess.

    • Do you know that you’re beautiful? You may feel perennially displaced, but if your soul searching produces these touching verses of a ballad you will write across your lifetime, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

  22. Home is my wife, and being able to see trees.

    It took 5 years of battling bureaucracy to finally be able to live in the same country as her, and hard as it was, it was worth every second of that effort. I wake up grateful every day to know I will come home to her.

    Trees….make me feel serene, and hopeful, and expansive, and wild..I can feel the wildness drumming through me. When I arrived in Canada, I had no furniture, so for the year before my wife could immigrate I gathered branches and hung them in the room as a miniature forest, with rocks underneath. This was my song of home for me.

    I wish you all homes you feel happy to return to <3

  23. Home is a place to park my car off the road, two trees to sling my hammock, drinking beers by a campfire and falling asleep to the river rushing past.

    Home is my friend/brother/boater/there-aren’t-words-to-describe-who-this-person-is-to-me’s couch after a evening lap somewhere on the Moose.

    Home is the bed of a different friend/brother/boater/there-aren’t-words-to-describe-who-this-person-is-to-me’s truck on a cold night, sharing an air mattress because he is a furnace of a human being.

    Home is sometimes my best friend/brother/favorite human’s parent’s house.

    But mostly, home is on the river with my crew. Home is off the river with my crew–on the road, in the bar, at someone’s house, in parking lots and campsites, wherever we find ourselves. I love this weird, eclectic family of humans so incredibly much. I love the way that they’ve made themselves my family. I love the way that they have chosen me and have my back and make me know I am valued.

  24. home for me is in Portland, Oregon, in an apartment off of one of the most gentrified streets in the city, with my doggie & handsome partner. it’s the smell of sweet potatoes baking in the oven, which is almost always happening in my home (we love sweet potatoes). it’s the sound of the #4 bus squeaking to a stop & then revving up with all its might to drive toward downtown. it’s the feeling of warmth of my giant L-couch, the first big purchase I ever made as an adult. it’s the taste of ginger-lemon-honey tea on my lips when I first wake up in the morning, but not before letting my dog out to pee because it’s usually an emergency.

    what’s crazy is that I’ve only lived in this place (in Oregon) for 4+ years. I should claim my childhood home—the one I stayed in for 18 years of my life—as my home. but that place, though it still stands & I still have family that lives in it (my dad & half-sister), that place doesn’t exist. so, this too-high-of-rent apartment on a busy, bustling street in Portland, Oregon, right near a school that still uses an actual bell to sound the end of a period, this place that I share with my tiny family & my neighbors beneath me who smoke pot & lovingly argue about what they’re learning in their Chinese Medicine school, this place is my home.

    as for how I’m doing. I’m hanging in there. barely. don’t really have the words or energy to go into it, but needless to say, the current events of life have been eating away at my spirit. so, right now, I’m watching (see: trying to get through) OITNB & cooking myself some lunch while bleeding profusely out of my vagina & feeling am immense amount of feels in the background.

    I miss you, Audrey. thank you for hosting. <3

    • “trying to get through ointb” is too real. I have like 30 minutes left in the last episode and am running out of care juice.

      I miss you back, thank you for sharing <3 <3

  25. Last night we sat with my grandmother while she died. We’d taken her on holiday, as happens every year. She was old and frail, and we knew she’d be unlikely to come next year, but we weren’t expecting these days to be her last days. It was how she’d have wanted to die – with family and not in hospital – but it’s still quite a shock to see it happen.

    I haven’t been home since a-camp. And I really want to go home. I’ll be there in 24 hours, so that’s a good thing.

    Hope you’ve all had more ordinary fridays.

    • My condolences. I’m glad she got the end she’d want even if its still heartbreaking that the end came.

    • ROSE you are wonderful and all my thoughts and feels are with you. Love from the Beach always and forever. HEART EMOJI.

    • You have my absolute sympathy. Something similar happened to me. It gave me a feeling of Impossible Weirdness. That was 8 years ago, and the Impossible Weirdness still lingers, but like life is still happening and it’s kind of okay that it’s weird because wouldn’t it be weirder to not feel weird about it? May your home hug you when you return to it, may your sheets smell like Tide, and may your bathroom towels be extra fluffy.

    • Thanks everyone for your kind words. I finally got home this evening and it feels really good to be back! Now i’ll sleep, lots.

  26. so home as always been weird for me. i went to 9 different schools growing up and between birth and 18 moved 13 times? (plus 6 more times in the years since then). for me home is a bed and a pillow that smell like me, a hot shower, 3 cats piled on top of me. its definitely more a feeling than a place. but i have been finding lately that my soul is sorta yearning for some roots, which makes me think i’m finally ready to settle down somewhere… which is both exciting and scary.

    this week has been so math! i started a new job at a library where i literally get to spend hours alone among books every day. i started a huge project for my internship and im excited to work through it. and i got a thing published that i wrote! im doing okay.

    • Hey hey hey! A new job! Spines of books aching to be cracked by your presumably nimble fingers! Amazing! I’m published. Yes, in the fourth grade my mom submitted a poem I wrote to the local news Round Up. BAM. Soooooo what’d you publish? ;D

      I can relate, by the way, to the moves. I moved exactly the same amount growing up, although I’ve only moved twice since I turned 21 (8 years ago). :)

  27. I’m still trying to find that place called “home.” When I visit family, I just find it so chaotic that it becomes emotionally draining. I guess you can say I am still searching….

    In other news, I ran into my ex and I was not mentally prepared for it. It’s funny. We both attended the same event (Dyke Day) and this park is HUGE. So, where do I sit? Within eyesight of her. I didn’t even know she was there til I started looking around and it seems like we both saw each other at the same time. It just sucks that we’re nothing but strangers to each other now.

    In funnier news – My shower hose decided to burst when I was taking a shower last night, spilling water everywhere. Thankfully I stopped it before water damage could be done, but man! Talk about inconvenient! Couldn’t help but laugh. Oh, life.

    • i want you to know that i read this comment at least twice and read “shower house” instead of “shower hose,” and then i wrote a comment that said, “um… shower house?” because i wanted an explanation.

      but then i read it a third time. so now you get this comment instead.

      also i really feel you on not being mentally prepared to share space with an ex and then not have any idea what to do with your eyeballs.

      • Haha. If it makes you feel any better, I actually typed the word “house” first and quickly correctly myself.


    • The ex thing. Man. I had a dream about an ex last night, and I was angry that she’s with New Girl in my dream. I never even think about her in day to day life! But Dream Ex’s Dream GF is a cunt. That’s all there is to it. Hey look, it turns out my comment is almost unrelated to yours! Wait, wait! Feelings about Ex’s are sometimes on a level of consciousness over which we have no control. That sucks, and you are not alone in it. :D

  28. home is so many things. sometimes it’s my dad’s house. sometimes it’s my grandparents’. sometimes it’s my sleeping bag or my giant hiking backpack. sometimes it’s when i finally get to the top of a mountain after traveling for 20 hours and everyone i talk with every day on the internet is all in one room together and also kinda drunk and they all hug me at pretty much the same time. sometimes it’s when you are patting my head in a friendly way.

    • What if when I pat your head it is secretly nefarious? Like the whole time I’m secretly plotting to … like… dislocate your big toes?

      I would be a shit villain.

  29. Home for me is a feeling of solitude and quiet.

    I grew up in a small, Minnesota farm community.

    Anything that has quiet woods, calm fields, plain and sturdy towns, hay wagons, cheap ma n’ pa diners, or lakes (and cricks) can easily put me back in that headspace without actually having to be home. It’s nothing fancy, and that’s what I like about it. It’s home.

    Call it cliche, but Miranda sums it up nicely for a country gal like me:

    Home is what my mind yearns for when I need to quiet my mind, let down the part of me I feel is the only part worthy of display to anyone and everyone, and just be, plain and simple.

    As previously stated, many things can give me those feelings without actually requiring me to go to my hometowns (which have their own downfalls). I do not, however, possess the ability to trust people in my life with those feelings of home.

    I have yet to decide whether or not that is a wonderful guarantee of safety, or a terrible flaw. Stay tuned.

  30. This is an interesting topic. I live and grew up in LA. and probably will call it home for life. What makes it home to me is the atmosphere. There is so much here for me to call home, from the quirkiness of Venice Beach down to everything that is Hollywood, and to the feelings I get when walking downtown. Not to mention I am a lifelong Lakers fan so there is always something to remind you of the team, be it the presence of Magic Johnson or songs about the team(though I am not proud of our championship riots). Yeah, I get stuck in traffic for no reason, and there’s always talk of the big earthquake(s) hitting; but, the weather is great, the queers are beautiful, and I can get quality Mexican food anytime of the day.
    This 2 Pac line always stood out for me from his classic song To Live & Die in LA; “We might fight amongst each other… but I promise you this: We’ll burn this bitch down, get us pissed.” Sure, he’s referring to the Rodney King Riots, but it’s also talking about the pride we have in the city. I probably wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

    So, stradders I need some advice. Yesterday I got invited to a relative’s(who I like) pool party, and I’d like to go. However, the problem is I am partially out about my trans-ness and I don’t feel comfortable being in a body of water without a swim top on. I have no problem being me at a public beach specially when friends are with me, but here it’s family, and their friends. I don’t want to lie by being topless in the water, nor do I feel comfortable being in in my swim top(I think it has t do with maybe they won’t get it). So, I think I may just to the safe bet and not go in the water.

    I took this earlier today. It’s either an art installation or they are filming a move, I’m not sure.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post.

    • Oh, and I binged S3 OITNB and Sense8 last week and I am bit sad I have to wait a year to see new seasons of each show. I have so much feels about Sense 8 and can’t wait to see where they take it.

  31. (Popping my Friday Open Thread cherry here…)

    This thread actually came at a great time, since I just arrived at my parents’ place – the place I grew up, for the most part – after graduating on Sunday. It feels really freaking good to take a step back from adulting and have someone else cook dinner for me and stuff! Also, I get to see my lovely, loving collection of wiener dogs. That, to me, says “home” more than anything. I can’t have dogs in my Ottawa apartment, and it just feels… empty, somehow. Maybe it’s the lack of doggy snoring?

    In related news, our 17-year-old Oscar Meyer was named Modern Dog Magazine’s Dog of the Week. The response to his picture has been overwhelmingly amazing! There’s just so much love for this goofy lil guy.

  32. How lovely that I am currently sitting in the DC airport waiting to catch a flight home. I’m so happy to be going home for a few days, but each time I go home I am more sure that I don’t want to end up there. I left the nest and now the nest is unfamiliar.

    I’m going to school on the east coast right now and while that doesn’t really feel like home the friends I’ve made have become my family. And when I’m with my (chosen) family it feels just as good as home. Nothing makes me happier than being around the people I really love.

    I had a major falling out this week with my best friend of nearly 10 years. She’s a toxic person and I’m better off, but it hurts to lose someone so familiar. She’s always been one of those people that felt like home. It’ll be odd to be back where we grew up knowing that she won’t be around.

    I’m trying to think more about my future home. Where it will be, who will be there, what I’ll be doing… The future is scary and amazing and I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m really excited about it all.

    Happy Friday!

  33. Home for me right now is kind of two places that both feel like home in different ways. The first is a week-long family camp near Tahoe that I’ve gone to every year since I was a year old. The minute I step out of the car and breathe in the smells of pine trees and the lake and popcorn from The Fountain and bug spray, I feel like I’m home. Both the physicality of the place and the associations I have with it – family camp, relaxation, friends I only see once a year – immediately relax me in a way nothing else does.

    However, I’ve never actually lived there, so I always feel weird thinking of it as home. I feel like I don’t have a claim to it since I only visit for a week a year, and sometimes it’s unnerving how much of a hold it has on me when I’ve been there fore less than 2% of my life… But it is home to me, and I think it always will be.

    The other place that’s felt like home has been my college. I really wasn’t expecting to feel so at home there so quickly, but after just a few weeks I already felt at home in a way I never had before, except at camp. The campus is beautiful, I’m super involved in extracurriculars and I have a really great group of friends, which all helped a lot. It was a weird feeling when my roommate (and best friend) and I were packing for our (long) winter break and started crying and reassured each other that we would be “home” soon… and then started laughing and crying even harder when we realized that our school is home for us now. That, too, feels a bit out of place, though, since I know college is an inherently transient experience. So it feels like home, with an undercurrent of “this won’t last.” Bittersweet.

  34. Hello butternut squash. (Squash? Squashes?) It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and today I’m not posting strictly relating to the theme, though in a way it definitely ties into it. I have a favor to ask of you.

    Tell me about your college experience.

    As a baby gay who’s going to be a senior in high school next year, the existential crisis about college is pretty much an ongoing facet of my life and after it got particularly bad today, I thought I’d seek out the advice of people who know. I have a list of places I’m looking at/keep telling myself I will look at and one I am dearly attached to in spite of the fact that getting in would be very challenging but I’m so scared because this is where I’m gonna spend four years of my life and I want to get something out of them. I know “the perfect fit” doesn’t exist and that’s probably a good thing, but I also know that there are things that are very important to me when considering colleges. In school I’ve always been an overachiever and so I really want to go somewhere academically challenging and where the students take their studies seriously, and I want to go somewhere I will feel accepted. I want somewhere I can be at home. All of my queer friends are nerds at theater school with me, so I don’t know any LGBTQ role models who have gone to college to talk to about all this. I was wondering if some of you would be willing to help. I’d love to hear you talk about what college was like for you, particularly with regards to the lGBTQ scene, and especially if you’ve gone to college more recently or are still in college. Brag about your school to me. Tell me your favorite things about it. Tell me anything you want, really.

    Thank you very much for reading this, and thank you even more if you decide to reply, it will be tremendously helpful.

    • hey there, i’ve attended 3 different colleges in my nearly 6 years since i graduated high school! i love the school i ended up at and am embarking on grad school applications right now. i go to an art school, i’m assuming you’re not looking for that, but if you are shoot me a message.

      my experience with the queer scenes were all really positive, but i live in a major city so i wouldn’t expect anything else. all i can also tell you is pick a place that has good programs/departments for a couple (or more) of your top interests/career plans, spend as much time as you can at the place before you commit to the place, and know if you end up hating it you are truly not stuck there for 4 years, transferring is a totally valid option. start your essays now! good luck!

    • Heyyyy rising college sophomore that is totally heads-over-heels with her school! I go to Smith, which tbh is probably as close to Autostraddle as you could get in a college. It’s very (very) liberal, the gorgeous town of Northampton (aka Lesbianville, USA) surrounds it, there are a ton of queers, the academics are on point, the campus is exquisite, it’s in a consortium so you get the benefits of a liberal arts college with the resources of a big university… It’s pretty much perfect, at least for me.

      Also, I knew that I needed two things to thrive in college: I needed small class sizes and an expectation of (academic!) relationships with professors, and I needed the college itself to create structures for community because I’m not social enough to create it myself. Smith provides both of those in spades – the size makes small classes the norm, the professors are incredibly dedicated to teaching (not just to research), I had professors apologize to me when they didn’t know my name in a few weeks, which is unheard of at bigger schools, and Smith’s House system, when it works, means you basically get dropped into a preexisting lovely community.

      That being said, if you want a big university, Smith is definitely not the place for you! It comes down to what you want in a school. If you want to chat more about this let me know. Good luck, and know that college is a lot of what you make it!

    • Hey there, starshine! First of all, congratulations on being a lovely human who is clearly making excellent life choices; I wish I had the wherewithal at your age to ask for this sort of advice, not to mention to be part of autostraddle dot com. You rock.

      I went to the largest college in my state and one of the biggest in the us (at the time, not certain the #s now), and while I wasn’t out at the time- to myself or anyone around me- I had a truly fulfilling experience in my 4 years there. UT is a great university and I feel I got a fairly solid education, but I sometimes wonder what a smaller liberal arts college experience would have been like for me as a nascent queermosexual and not yet sociopolitically conscious bb.

      No matter where you end up, when you find your niche, you will have a home. It could be a cadre of theater majors or an intramural soccer team, or simply the people who live near you in the dorm. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, because there are loads of other humans who are feeling precisely the same anxiousness who may be the friends you buy donuts with at 3:00 in the morning from the 24hr shop near campus, or who stage an impromptu game of 4 square in the rain outside the library after class, and who you can call 10 years after you met at orientation and know you can pick up just where you left off.

      I wish I had sage advice but I think it basically boils down to where you feel most drawn after taking time to explore each option in person, and speaking to current queer students/alumni of those respective schools is definitely a good way to get a feel for what kind of environment you can expect.
      You’re going to have a brilliant time, wherever you land. <33

    • Heyo, I’m a (very) recent Canadian university grad, but I still have a few nuggets of advice/experience that should apply:

      – I stayed in residence my first year, and while it was loud, and gross, and I had next to no privacy, it was still the best thing I could have done. I was with a bunch of other people who were going through the exact same things I was, which was really helpful. And my RA was great at helping me just talk through shit.

      – I stayed active in student associations, both on- and offline. I also followed my school’s Pride Centre’s calendar. It was a great way to find out about activities like tubing, Dirty Bingo, and apple picking. Plus I won $50 as “volunteer of the month” because I baked cookies for a student association event, so there’s that.

      – Smaller programs are awesome. Tiny class sizes mean that you get to know everyone, profs included. I actually had a prof send me funny dog pictures and ask about me after I had my gallbladder removed, even though I was no longer in her class. And students were pretty freaking great about sharing resources/advice about profs/notes/job opportunities online.

      – If you have room for electives, take at least one “fluff” class. Everything else seems less stressful if you know you have at least one class you’ll do well in. And really, there’s no better way to spice up your school week than learning about witchcraft from a terrifying old woman who wears cow-print muumuus and talks about “BDSM for Satan.”

      – I’d recommend learning about LGBTQ+ centres/resources outside of your school’s Pride Centre. For instance, my city has an LGBTQ+ community centre that hosts discussion groups, meet-and-greets, and events.

      Oh, and I’ll echo everyone else by telling you to physically go to the places you’re thinking about so you can get a feel for the campus, the environment, etc. Book a tour, ask questions, and just get to know the place a little.

  35. I love that horse shirt!

    This face defines home for me right now:


    She makes me so happy.

    I don’t know if you can see what’s going on in this image, but we’re snuggling. She always starts the night near me, until I fall asleep, and then she’ll wander off if it’s warm to find somewhere cool. But as soon as I stir (and usually get up to go pee) she’ll come back and we end up something like what you see in the picture.

    My hometown doesn’t feel too home-y these days. I love where I am, with my gueer friends and (I guess) my non queer friends. I’m kidding, the straight folks are great, too.

    I’m gonna get wordy, y’all. I missed a few weeks and I missed you and stuff has been happening. (also, I NEVER say y’all.)

    There was a photography project called Framing The Spectrum here in town. I was photographed by Jim of Mayhem Images. You really should go and look at the other people’s pictures. POWERFUL. My friend Peggy of Peggy Pacely photography was also involved. She has some amazing pictures up too (and was featured in Mayhem’s sets because she herself is gender non-conforming and awesome.

    Honestly, I feel way outclassed by the other folks. Here I am, just a binary trans woman surrounded by these amazing queer folks. But, I did get a picture out of it that I am so happy with. One where I’m smiling:

    I can’t smile consciously. I have to be laughing or genuinely happy to put on a real smile. Otherwise, I feel like I look ghoulish. So it’s hard to capture me with a smile, because once the camera is pointed at me, I start trying and then it is over.

    Eh, maybe I shouldn’t get wordy, that’s what my blog is for, right? I would like to leave you with these three pics and a small explanation. The pictures from the photoshoot represent how I think of myself, how I see myself in my mind’s eye. They are hopefully a sort of endpoint or a goal. Transition is slow. Painfully slow. So these three pics show me more as I appear in my day-to-day life right now. I get dolled up for nights out or to hang out with friends, don’t get me wrong. These photos are me where I am, without makeup and padding and all of the things I feel I need to really have the world see me as the woman I am. (maybe a tiny bit of makeup like lip color)

  36. Home to me is a small town on the north coast of Nsw South Wales, Australia. I left four years ago and swore I would never EVER move back. Yet, after spending the last 3 1/2 years living on the gold coast I find myself yearning for tranquility, and a place where I can see the stars.
    I am currently “home” at the moment and already it’s been different from every other trip. I’ll usually plan to come back for at least a week and be gone within four days. This definitely has a lot to do with the judgment that seems to thrive in a small town. As well as the inescapable sense of being 15 again.. No matter how different things are.
    I’m getting distracted here. These are a few of my “being home traditions”
    -major anxiety as I pull into my parents driveway.
    -major excitement when I finally see my five younger siblings.
    -spend at least a day in the bush exploring our favorite reserve which has the most beautiful waterfalls. This is something I miss the absolute most, I saw it so often but people either think I’m crazy or totally disregard it but, the air tastes different here.
    -try and win back the love of my childhood horse/get sad when he holds the longest grudge in the world because I left.
    -enjoy being with my family..

    So I guess home to me really is mostly about family. Something I’m very fortunate to have.

    • I’m glad you came around on your feelings for home. That’s sad about your horse, though.

  37. Home. Wow. What a concept.

    Home is exactly where I am. It isn’t a place I go back to, it’s a thing that lives inside me, and everywhere I go, I am at home.

    My home in Ohio as a child amounts to a couple years of living with an Old Order Amish family. That was an amazing way to spend a couple summers (the longest I was ever in one place until I moved here – to Ottawa). I miss the thick sweaty summers and the rain that fell in buckets from blue-black skies that suddenly cleared to reveal what I can honestly describe as the Heavens. No wonder religion is easy to believe there. I remember the tree frogs outside an open window, and a star-heavy night lit doubly by fireflies (lightning bugs!) as the Katie-did-its chirped there accusations and I fell asleep feeling like I knew for sure where I would be when I woke up.

    Fast forward 23 years, and I am once again waking up exactly where I left myself. Finally. Here I have navy blue skies and only the big dipper to light them, but they are always there. I look out my window every morning and remark to the tree, who is my peeping Tom and brings me songbirds and entire generations of barking squirrels, that he has grown a full three feet from last time I saw him, I swear! But he hasn’t, and we both know, because I see him every day. That is home. <3

  38. Home for me is the good ol’ U.S.A. I never thought I would miss this place so much but after an 8 month deployment into some not-so-nice-to-American places, the prospect of setting foot in San Diego, finally getting to hold my fiancee, walk around hand in hand with her at the farmers market, taking a ride on my motorcycle, real mexican food…..
    I had a Ballast Point IPA yesterday in Hawai’i and almost started crying because it tasted like being back in San Diego drinking on my porch.
    I miss Hillcrest the “gayberhood” of SD, where I can gay it up and not have to worry about looking over my shoulder. Even though we still have a long way to go in this country for LGBT rights, it is still head and shoulders above some place (middle east) where you have to look over your shoulder even going into a bathroom. 5 more days…. it’s like Christmas. I have never looked forward to something so much or missed a place so much in my entire life.

    • Wow, that is a kind of longing I haven’t felt in nearly a decade. May you find a four leaf clover when you step on the mainland, because you deserve every luck there is.

  39. Hi everyone!!! FRIDAY IS HERE!!! I worked today yay! I still work tomorrow! BOO/YAY!

    This IS an interesting topic because I think home can be a number of places and things. I know I feel most at home when I’m with my wife. That’s not very often if I only see her once a year for a whole month. This LDR is going to end so soon I can taste it. A Camp is home to me. It’s weird coming up the mountain, going somewhere with people you don’t really know and after like 5 hours, a few beers and shots and a round of King’s Cup…you call those people family and the mountain and your bunk your home. I know I’ll always see where I like now as home..we’ve only been here my whole life! =) I think that it’s great to be able to call different places home. In a way you won’t really be home sick?

    My cousins here in the USA actually find it weird I call the Philippines home. Aside from the fact that my wife is there, I lived there for a number of years..high school and college. It was a great immersive experience I now thank my parents for. I feel like I’m deeply rooted in my home country and when I get time off, I’m able to say I’m going home.

    This is what feels like home to me. Jessy being too sleepy or hating selfies/pictures and my dearest.

    And I just really wanna share the photo Rory made when we did the hay ride at camp.

    Also if you guys want to see vids from camp here are mine. Not yet complete but ALMOST! DAMN THE INTERNET.

    • Words fail me at people’s descriptions of home. Yours is so sweet, for all of your homes.


    • LDR solidarity *fistbump*.
      I made it through, and so will you, and it is SO WORTH IT!

      Ha! I can’t tell if when you’re finally together we won’t see you online for months/years, or if it will be non-stop adorable selfies of you together.

  40. I’m not sure I know what home is :/

    Today I hung out with a friend! Yay. We spent money. Ouch. But I got a coloring book and Rat Queens and a Star Wars mug for my dad. You push a button and it mixes your drink….. only you’re REALLY using the Force! Like duh.

    Omg sddGcfhx that reminds me, we were walking around,friend and i,and we passed this “Jamaica Junction” place, and the mannequins were suspiciously white. I started talking in my valley girl voice about how I like, totally, like, went to Jamaica, and like, I’m totally Jamaican because, like, it just spoke to me!!!11!!1!! And im not sure but I think the people around us thought it was my actual voice? And I could not stop laughing.

    Also my friend bought Mystical Cat tarot cards. I shit you not. They are priceless. We tried to use them but were very confused by the placement vs what the card said. But. Mystical cats.

    • Yay Rat Queens! I just ordered Vol 2, can’t wait to read it. :) I’m imagining the valley girl thing you did is like the posho “When I was in India” thing we do to mock those who think they understand a culture after a week holiday to a resort catering to rich white British folks with no concept of colonialism.

      • Woo! I keep flipping through both of them; I need to actually read them, haha. I have so many library books to read, though….

        Haha ohhh my god. That sounds pretty much like what I was going for, yes. Us white people need to grow up.

        Also, today my friend and I got sucked into a store,and, because we’re responsible adults, I bought stickers and she bought reusable ice cubes in the shape of gems and fruit. We’re so adult.

  41. Audrey, it’s 1:37 am cst and I told myself I was going to sleep ages ago but I saw the skyline and your amazing cowboy top and had to jump on the thread.

    Home is complex and not always the house I grew up in for almost 13 years out in Rockwall, east of Dallas. There are elements of the burbs that hit me with a wave of nostalgia like no other:
    -driving over the lake with the windows down
    – stepping into the yard and hearing the high school football game on loudspeaker from a few miles away
    -historic downtown with crumbly buildings that used to hold smoky diners like Old Timers and are now vintage shops or cafes which is sometimes jarring
    -hugging my old lady Penny who’s been around basically half of my life and is the single best dog of all time (sorry not sorry)

    On the other hand, when I trek back to my apartment in Dallas proper, seeing downtown and knowing I’m home in the city is such a comfort. I love being able to visit friends down the road and spending time with such a ***flawless collective of queers here in town. I love that I can walk across the street and get an amazing burger and crack a beer in the parking lot next to a classic car rally. I love Sue’s in spite of the major shortcomings of the local LG[bt] scene and nightlife area. I love the vastly diverse community that so often comes together to support each other in times of need, but I hate how often bad shit happens to our most vulnerable.
    I miss camp and I felt such a sense of belonging and acceptance radiating from the space we all shared and I want that to be something we make real in every single zip code and neighborhood everywhere.

    And here’s a gif:

  42. Home is definitely waking up to a rain streaked window pane on a day I’m not scheduled to work. Home is also when someone I care about touches me in some small way as they pass by, just to let me know they’re there. Home is the smell of my best friend’s whiskey breath and loud laughter at my jokes we both know aren’t that funny. Home is “A Case Of You” by Joni Mitchell playing in my car when I drive to anywhere. Home is every place I’ve ever been to where I think I’ve found myself again.

  43. In some ways I subscribe to the oft repeated phrase amongst the VW community that “Home is where you park it”. In my camper van with my missus and my dog I’m home, wherever we are. I have everything I need and I’m physically in a space which is also literally a means of escape from wherever I am if it needs to be.
    Until I find a place where I feel I am home I have that. I live in the town I grew up in, I returned after a few years away in different places. There are negative associations with my teenage/early 20s years here that I can’t escape and can’t forgive and can’t forget no matter how hard I try…and I haven’t stopped trying. Plus so much thinly veiled upper middle class conservatism/working class racism- not to mention the associated homophobia of both. Yet as much as familiarity breeds contempt there’s a horrible need for that familiarity as I get older and as everything and everyone around me changes.

    Things I do at home that I like and couldn’t do anywhere else include; going up to a tiny village out of town for amazing pork pies followed by ice cream (which we eat in the van). Walks in the pine woods. Hanging out in the park by one of the old wells in either sun or snow-in between it only rains. Watching the sunset over the river from the castle walls on a late July evening then going to the pub my gf worked in when we first got together and chatting with the owners til way past closing.

  44. Home is definitely Wellington (NZ). It’s at least a 28 hour series of uncomfortable flights from where I am and have lived for the last 6 years (I only intended to be away for 2!). I know I am home when the final leg of the flight starts to bank left to line up with the runway, I can see my house on the side of the hills we fly between, and the wind is buffeting the plane making everyone else wonder if we’ll land in one piece: and I’m just sitting there grinning. Home at last.

    Bugger (an NZ colloquial term for those unaware). six more months until I’m home again.

  45. Gosh, Audrey, way to make me really be reflective this morning. Yesterday was my no work day which you would think for a person who technically doesn’t have a job right at this moment would be really easy. IT IS NOT FOR ME. I didn’t Intern, I didn’t make a A-Camp Confession graphic (oh hello, I’m the creator of that tumblr), I didn’t work on my company logo that I’m not even sure if I could pull it off or if there is a market for said company, I didn’t make any logos for my funsie project, I didn’t open ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR at ALL. My original plans got derailed so I made the best out of the situation and headed to the beach anyway even though it was a little chilly, they do say Milwaukee, COOLER BY THE LAKE, this is all true. Then I went to a Museum for an after dark kind of festival, there were TONS of artists selling their own artwork, it was really cool. My love for photobooths is real too. All in all a really good day, I saw old friends and that was nice for my own emotional state.

    Home….hmmm…home. I have thought about this for the past year. I sometimes feel like I have no home. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. When I decided to move last year to Seattle it really threw me for quite the emotional turmoil. I thought leaving Wisconsin would be so easy, I have such a love-hate relationship with Wisconsin. It will always be my “home” because it is a part of who I am. The place I was born and raised. My parents will never leave Wisconsin and neither will my siblings. After living in Seattle for six months, I decided to leave and move back to Wisconsin. I was living/working in a hostel and I realized how much of an introvert I am. I give it my all to my work so you can imagine how exhausted I was. I was a front desk worker so basically that meant I spent my four hour shift checking people in which can get frantic and I would have to do an introduction: “Hello, First I would like to say, Thank you for choosing City Hostel Seattle….”

    I had a lot more feelings but now I don’t have time. Maybe I will continue this later? WHO KNOWS. I’m off to bike.

    When I return:
    I explain where my homes are and why they are important to me.

Comments are closed.