I spent the last two and a half weeks in Charleston, South Carolina with Brandon Oxendine, my boyfriend. As a native Californian, I am pre-loaded with negative stereotypes about the south. In a certain way, I’d love them to be true just to prove in a fucked up way how awesome California is. And unfortunately, I’ve has some experiences that do just that. BUT, I’ve also seen how great the city can be.
The south is notorious for its negative views of homosexuality and I got to experience that first hand. The most impactful incident involved a smoothie. I was holding hands with Brandon, heading to a bar, when out of nowhere a smoothie comes flying past my arm and hits Brandon in the leg, exploding with pink gunk everywhere. We quickly realized it had been tossed out of a passing SUV. Man, I’ve got to tell you, being the victim of a hate crime, no matter how seemingly insignificant, really changes your perspective of people and the culture you live in. I was shaken and very angry. I wondered if the next incident would be more violent. I wanted to key the fuck out of that SUV. Brandon was so shaken and afraid, he refused my attempts to hug and comfort him. This incident and a couple other incidents of verbal scoffing set a tone of discomfort that lasted for my entire time there. I felt like I needed to watch my back for PDA.
And other than that, Charleston is pretty cute and charming. The people I met were gracious, and personable. I got the impression that when someone was kind, it was true kindness. I’ve seen too much subtle show The buildings are old and beautiful. There are a ton of great places to eat and drink. I loved XBB, and Indaco. It’s a very walkable and bike-able. It’s convenient. Besides for being a little too small-towny for me, it’s theoretically quite nice. Unfortunately, it has left me with a sour taste.
Ultimately, the main attraction in Charleston was Brandon and I had an amazing time with him. I can’t picture myself living there in any serious way for a long period of time. I mean, come on, it’s The South.
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