Why progressive American's should stop living on top of each other.
As soon as I grow up I'm moving to the big city. Whether you're heading to Los Angeles, New York, or regional metropolises like Chicago and Atlanta, it's a popular coming of age experience. The reasons vary from seeking the kind of world wide successes that we assume must be launched from well, a world city to finding places with laws beneficial to cannabis consumers, LGBT people and other minorities. Let's start with the latter.
As a young black gay man, I always knew I would have to get out of the relatively conservative Daytona Beach in order to have a real chance at happiness. I figured that eventually I would want to get married and at the time Massachusetts and California were the only two states where that would have been possible. Later on I realized that I really enjoyed cannabis and then began looking for a locale where my life wouldn't be ruined over a simple blunt of weed. That is how I ended up in California.
Fast forward to 2019; same-sex marriage is legal across the country and medical, not to mention recreational marijuana is on a fast track to follow. With more options to live freely than when I was a teenager; I'm left to ponder if staying in Los Angeles is the best idea.
It's not that I don't love the sunny days and bumping into my favorite celebrities. I do, it's just that it's crowded and expensive. It's becoming more and more difficult to avoid one of the largest homeless populations in the world. Additionally, I'm just not as fearful of "conservatives" as I used to be. Of course I know many of them have a greater propensity for violence (especially of the gun variety) but, I've become so much more confident in my ability to avoid the bull crap. Of course falling in love and not being on the "hunt" probably has a little to do with it.
Of course that's not all of it. Lately I've been thinking of my young self growing up in rural and suburban America. I've also been thinking about the family and friends that left behind in search of acceptance and an easier life. Did I do us all a disservice by depriving us of the opportunity to grow and learn from our differences? Could I have in some way contributed to making my childhood and adolescent communities more tolerant for the next generation of "others"?
Maybe one day I'll get a chance to see.