I always hated it when a form would ask me for my hometown. It’s not that I have an issue with the question itself. The issue I have is I don’t know how to answer it. I normally pick Twin Falls, Idaho for various reasons. Today I wanna look at each contender for my hometown and describe why I really wish I didn’t ever get asked that question or the similar “so where you from?” both cause me anxiety.
Let’s start with Twin Falls. I sometimes answer this as my “hometown” because this is where I was born. However I always feel like I am being dishonest saying this place because I didn’t exactly grow up there. In fact I really only lived in Twin Falls for about 6 months or so one year when I was an adult. In fact I never lived there or even visited it in my childhood days. I moved to towns around Twin Falls throughout my teen years but we didn’t live in Twin.
Next contender is Jackpot, Nevada. Unlike Twin Falls I did live here quite a bit. In fact this is where I went to high school. The whole time I lived in Jackpot we did our shopping and other commerce in Twin Falls so I often count my time in Jackpot towards my time in Twin, thus adding a little extra credence to that previous claim. However I despised everything about this town. I really don’t even like admitting I ever lived there. Therefore I have no desire to claim this as my hometown. Also even though I lived there a lot off and on, I still lived there in short bursts broken up by other places so it wasn’t even a continuous shot.
The other childhood favorite of mine I sometimes claim as my hometown is none other than Miltonvale, Kansas. I have written quite a bit on the impact living there had on me so I will refrain from that here. Like Twin I never lived there for very long. At most we lived there about a year and a half when I was 12 to 13. Also like Twin Falls we lived around it enough we always claimed we were from there even when we weren’t exactly. We made this claim because we spent our weekends there since I had uncles who lived in town as well as cousins. Thus of all the towns I lived around or near this one felt the most like a hometown. Again since my time there was brief, I only attended 6th grade and most of 7th grade there, I don’t think it counts as a true answer either.
The last place I have tried to claim as my “hometown” when the questions arises is Whitesboro, Texas. I chose this one because unlike all the previous ones I did live here for a significant length of time as an adult. I bought a home in Whitesboro and lived there for nearly 6 years. I also worked for the local newspaper so I had a hand in crafting the towns local legends and historical record. My work contributed to the public record which will remain in tact for decades via archives. However another unique feature of Whitesboro is it being the only town I was ran out of by the locals for being trans. As I am no longer welcome there I don’t feel right claiming it either.
Thus here I am a woman without a place to call home. Or at the very least home town. That doesn’t make me homeless in the strictest sense. However I feel a sense of shame coupled with anger whenever someone asks me that intrusive, yet seemingly harmless, question. It’s just one more reminder my life was far from normal.