"Home is where you feel the most comfortable going to the bathroom."
And to this day, I feel like his definition of home is the most accurate one I've heard.
|Is home my apartment? My parents' house? A hotel?|
I was not surprised to find out that there are, in fact, gays living in Franklin County, and that these people have been the recipients of harsh discrimination based on the ignorance and intolerance of their community. I was, however, completely surprised and downright confused when I read that these very people, whom have been called "fags" and have had their property vandalized for no reason other than they prefer to have relationships with people of their own gender, still continue to love their small town home and that they can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else. Um, what?
"This is my home and I'm not going anywhere. You couldn't get me out of this county," says a gay person that Mr. Sutter interviews. Another gay person states, "I stay here because I love my little hometown...it's beautiful here, I have my store and a garden. You learn to be tough here--you really do." Yes, tough means getting beaten up by family members for reading Shakespeare instead of hunting. Tough means getting used to being called a "fag" by young children in the neighborhood. Tough means tolerating verbal abuse from your co-workers and boss who call you "cat licker" and "carpet muncher." Tough means being consigned to live and die alone because you are afraid of how your business might suffer if your neighbors and patrons see you openly embracing your sexual orientation. Yes, I can certainly see how Franklin County would make you tough. But the source of my confusion is this: how can a gay person call this town "home," when it is a place that just barely tolerates them? How can a gay person want to make a "home" in a town where you cannot live with a partner for fear of persecution?
I for one, would not be able to do it. I would not feel at home in this town if I was gay. Sure, maybe there's no actual violence--no lynching, no bombings, no bricks thrown into houses through the windows. But isn't verbal and emotional abuse at school and at work enough to make these people stand back and ask "what if there's someplace better?" "How could a place like this be my home?"
For me, home is a place where I feel safe, comfortable, and uninhibited. Getting used to being called a "fag" would not make me feel any of those things. Maybe it's because the gay people in Franklin County don't know that there are places more welcoming to homosexuals than their little town. Maybe they're unable to finance a move. Either way though, I just can't seem to understand how they could love this place and call it their home. What are your thoughts?