What if I don’t want to leave Texas? The only option for LGBT+ southerners should not be, “Just move somewhere else.”

I don’t have any attachment to “somewhere else”. I don’t have a community “somewhere else”. I have to start from scratch “somewhere else”, and that should not be my only option. That should not be the option people in big, northern, liberal cities give me whenever I talk about the political climate in the south.

I want to make the south safe for me and mine, not abandon it entirely. This is my home. These are my roots. We should be focused on making these places better, not writing them off as a lost cause.

I love the food. I love the boardwalks. I love the bluebonnets. I love the longhorns. I love the woods and the fields. I love the lakes and the ocean.

Sure, the weather sucks, but there is still so much I love about Texas. There are still so many reasons for me to stay and fight for it.

You aren’t morally just for painting us all as bigots, celebrating our suffering, dehumanizing us. You aren’t helping when you tell us to leave behind everything we’ve ever known and loved. You aren’t better than us backwards backwoods hicks.

You’re just a different kind of bigot.