Westward Homo: Dog Is My Co-Pilot


Robin and Carly, attractive newlyweds and perfect humans, are growing up and moving out — from busy busy New York City to easy breezy beautiful Los Angeles, California. They’ll be taking all their belongings minus what they were able to foist off on others, their dance superstar dog Arthur, and a lot of pictures. We will be following their emotional and actual literal journey — from packing to moving to settling in to establishing what will surely be the best-decorated apartment since their apartment in New York — as they make the biggest move of their lives and process with a bottle of Maker’s. They will be using the hashtag #arthurgoeswest for all trip-related tweets and Instagram photos.


And The Beat Goes On

On day 3 and 4 of our trip, we drove from St Louis to Oklahoma City, stayed the night and then drove to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I drove both of these days because, as I quickly discovered, I’m not great at occupying myself as a passenger and driving keeps me from getting too restless. Carly gets very sleepy when you put her in a car, much like a small child, so she happily played DJ. She also put herself in charge of packing and unpacking the car each day. Carly’s very good at organizing spaces; I am not. Its nice to have a system for things like this so you aren’t arguing over who does what. We do this at home, too: Carly does the laundry, I cook (sometimes). I pay bills and make the phone calls, and Carly does the techy stuff. If there’s something heavy or high up to reach, that’s automatically my job. If there’s folding to be done, that’s all Carly. Spiders, me. Making the bed, Carly. She calls me her husband, but I don’t think we share the stereotypical gender roles. Its one of the reasons neither one of us likes labels like butch and femme, but that’s a more interesting article for another day. Back to the boring stuff!!!

After our third day on the road and our 50th listen to the new Tegan and Sara album, we stopped in Oklahoma City at a lovely La Quinta, another dog-friendly chain we love. We had a nice big room with a mirrored wall which made us feel even more like the disgusting car monsters we had become after three days on the road. There was also a jetted tub, which we both tried to fit in with disastrous results. It was a really sexy night.



For our night in Albuquerque we stayed in an amazing studio space that we found on Airbnb, a site where people rent out their properties to travelers. We were so excited to be in a private house for the night. It was a beautiful little southwest style bungalow in the Old Town district. Plus, we got to watch High School Musical IN Albuquerque. (High School Musical is set in Albuquerque, duh.)

City Queers in Todd Akin Country

I think on a personal note we both have been a bit humbled thinking about the many queers who live in some of the very conservative areas of the country we drove through on this trip (and especially the ones in the states we purposely avoided). Both Robin and I have spent most our lives in big cities and predominantly liberal, gay-friendly towns, so this has been a very eye-opening trip. We saw lots of Todd Akin signs in Missouri, refused to get out of our car in North Texas, and I almost got kicked out of a bathroom in Western Arizona.



I’ve been getting called sir for over 20 years, but I have rarely felt unsafe. In NY and LA, I walk confidently and don’t try to hide, but out on the road, unfamiliar with the little towns we drove through, I often felt like I looked like an alien to people and I just wanted to blend in.



Los Angeles, I’m Yours

We left Albuquerque and made the grueling 12 hour drive all the way to LA. New Mexico was the prettiest part of the trip so far. Just gorgeous.

At one point, I called to set up our electricity and the woman on the phone asked me if I was single or married. I said married, because I am, and Carly smiled at me. Then she asked for my husband’s name and I grimaced and laughed uncomfortably, looked over at Carly, and said to her “well, I don’t have a husband, but I am married”. When I asked her what the option was for same-sex spouses she sounded kind of sad and said, “I guess you have to put ‘single.'” So according to my electric company, I am single. This is a weird reality for us, moving from a state where we became legal spouses just months ago, to a state that doesn’t recognize our marriage. We wish we fully understood what exactly our marriage means in California, in a legal sense. Anyone with this information should immediately contact us! Please. But in the non-legal sense, my marriage and my wife are still just as real to me as they were when we began this crazy trip. If anything, I love her more after spending these six days trapped in cars and hotel rooms than I did when we left.

dog is my co-pilot

So here we are in LA, at a La Quinta, waiting for the painting and construction to be completed in our house. We have been sleeping and watching HGTV and writing this post. Looking forward to catching you up on our progress once we’ve settled in! We have lots of exciting ideas on how to decorate our space.

you do you

“Look, I know you think you live here, but we don’t. You probably think we live nowhere, and in a way, that’s true. But we do have an address, if you need something sent there. But for now, we are in a hotel and you can’t get all protective here, because we’re fine. I love you, just be cool.” – Carly to Arthur, just now when Arthur growled and looked towards the door

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Robin specializes in entertainment, lifestyle and portrait photography. She's also a Creative Producer, Director of Photography and co-owner of Scheme Machine Studios LLC, her production company based in Los Angeles. Robin loves shooting for TV and film and has worked with media companies like Legendary Pictures and Viacom. She shot and directed the Pride campaign for Google called #ThisIsFamily. Robin has had the pleasure of working on national campaigns for companies like Dove and Levis, and had the unique opportunity to shoot for non-profits and initiatives such as The Black List, Save the Children, Move to End Violence, Have a Hart Day, and The Clinton Global Initiative. She is most proud of the work she has done with organizations such as The Ad Council and RAINN working on national impact campaigns. Her celebrity roster includes Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, The B-52s, Keri Hilson, JB Smoove, Tegan and Sara, Margaret Cho, The B-52’s, Andreja Pejic, and many more. She was there for Autostraddle’s birth and proudly served as A-Camp co-director for many years.

Robin has written 82 articles for us.


  1. “…but out on the road, unfamiliar with the little towns we drove through, I often felt like I looked like an alien to people and I just wanted to blend in.”

    This is why airports really set me on edge, and I find that feeling really hard to express to people who haven’t ever been in that position.

  2. LOVE the title :) And good luck living in a hotel! I’ve had to do that once in my life for a little while and it can get frustrating. But you guys sound like you’re adjusting well to frustrating situations and small spaces so you should be fine.

    • I know! I think I might have growled a little when I read about Carly almost getting kicked out of a barhroom. But I felt remarkably calmed and better after reading that. I’ve been all kinds of worried ’bout our fellow Jersey girls!

  3. North Texas really isn’t all that bad. There’s some really cool places. Like Denton! Denton is pretty neat. Or something like that. Born & raised in NT has made me an okay person, I think.

    That being said, I moved to California last summer, so. :)

    Good luck with the move and getting settled into the new place!

    • I would also like to stick up for North Texas! The DFW metro area is perfectly nice, and Denton is a cool town with lots of live music, good food and nice people. It’s nothing compared to Austin or San Antonio (the best parts of Texas in my opinion), but at least the urban/semi-urban areas of North Texas are nothing to sneeze at.

      This speaks to a larger sentiment I hear a lot, which is that Texas is the country’s #1 most awful homophobic ogre, which it’s not. Yes, there are bad parts, as in most states that are not California/the New England area. But on the whole Texas’ urban areas (where most of the population resides) are quite progressive.

      Crazy people from Texas are often the loudest of the crazies – I’ll give you that – but Texas is nowhere near as bad as it gets (I’m looking at you, Utah, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arizona, Wyoming, Louisiana, etc.).

      Also Arthur is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. He always looks like he’s thinking.

  4. California law is weird about the recognition of gay marriages from other states because of Prop. 8. The state honors marriages entered before Nov. 5, 2008 but not those entered thereafter. However, the California Family Code Section 308 specifically states that same-sex couples who marry in another state receive all the rights and responsibilities of marriage except the term “marriage.” I have no idea what that means w/r/t your utilities. And this is not legal advice (the lawyer in me requires that I state this).

    And being a queer-mo who lives in Dallas, my recommendation w/r/t North Texas is to stay in the DFw metroplex and love in the gayborhood (which I have done). Or move (which I intend to do).

  5. i’m late to conversation but i love your pup!

    my wife and i have a mini schnauzer and an airedale and both are goofballs. my mini likes to talk/howl/shriek when you ask him about his day or you sing frank sinatra to him.

    la quinta is definitely the best pet-friendly hotel chain.

  6. I’m pretty sure you drove right by where I live, in the dead space of small towns and corn fields between Columbia and Kansas City.

    I was helping a friend move right after the election and one of his friends got him an Akin yard sign as a (funny) housewarming gift. He put it in his yard, snapped a quick picture and then hid it under his deck so his neighbors wouldn’t see it. We all had a good laugh at the sign but we’re very glad that guy didn’t get elected. A lot of people in my town supported him though.

    • I might be totally misunderstanding this but to me it kinda sounded like the woman on the phone did sound sad when she informed robin that she had to put single instead of married.I have a deep-seated hatred for electric companies as it is but maybe this time it’s more carlifornias fault

      • I work at an electric company but we never ask marrital status. How is that relevant to the supply of electricity?

  7. you’re married in california! out-of-state marriages count here. there are a few states like that. anyhow i am enjoying these updates so much!

  8. I was at a rest stop in Indiana and a teenage girl walked right up to me and got just a few inches away from my face. I don’t know if she was looking for an Adams apple or what, but luckily nothing was said. I get called sir all the time too. Being anxious about going to the restroom sucks.

  9. Interstate 40! That was my route, too!

    “… I often felt like I looked like an alien to people and I just wanted to blend in.” Yes, this. I actively tried not to talk if I could help it, depending on the gas station. But, ALSO! New Mexico is just bonkers pretty, yes.

    This whole series gives me a happy face. Road trips across the country are an exhausting, amazing experience. I so look forward to more on your settling in/Arthur in general!

  10. “Look, I know you think you live here, but we don’t. You probably think we live nowhere, and in a way, that’s true. But we do have an address, if you need something sent there. But for now, we are in a hotel and you can’t get all protective here, because we’re fine. I love you, just be cool.” – Carly to Arthur, just now when Arthur growled and looked towards the door

    just putting that in print one more time ’cause it’s so cute

  11. Hey Robin, Carly, and Arthur! I have a serious travel question. I’m thinking about (eventually) embarking on a cross-country road trip with a friend, but only one of us drives. Robin, you said that you did most of the driving… was it extraordinarily tiring/exhausting/anxiety-provoking/etc.? Do you think a NY-LA (or LA-NY) drive is possible with one person at the wheel?

    Thanks :)

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