What It's Like Growing Up A Liberal In A Conservative Town
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Politics and Activism

What It's Like Growing Up A Liberal In A Conservative Town

I'm not a snowflake.

What It's Like Growing Up A Liberal In A Conservative Town

I grew up my whole life in a small town, I’ve never known anything different as it goes for most who were born in raised in a small “red-neck” town. I don’t necessarily play the part of a small town girl country girl—I don’t know anything about trucks (Chevy and Ford?) hate country music, the concept of “mudding” is beyond me, you won’t ever catch me in cowboy boots, I don’t even eat meat, oh and I’m strong left liberal.

That last one has had the most significance in my life, and leaves me an outcast among most people in my town, especially with the ones who never left. I have done a pretty good job surrounding myself with those in my town who have gotten out and formed similar views as me, but that is more often than not overshadowed by the overall stance of the town. I’ve been incredibly lucky and have traveled all over the country and outside the country so that helped shape the views I have. My town is highly republican and/or conservative and I don’t take it upon myself to bash those with different political views as my own—frankly because that is how I’ve spent the last 2 years of my life. I began keeping quiet in my town mostly because if you speak up about any liberal view you will have an old white man jump down your throat about “making America great again." Which is great concept for them because America was established to benefit white males, but I’d like to think they aren’t the only people with any relevance in the 21st century.

Among conservatives across the nation, not just limited to small towns, is this concept of all young liberals being “snowflakes” and this is something I hear day in and day out, especially having come from where I do. Calling me a “liberal snowflake” denounces my political status and insinuates this idea that liberals are overly sensitive and fragile. So fighting for equality and basic rights for women, blacks, LGBTQ members, refugees etc. means I’m overly sensitive? Not sure I follow that. Believing and fighting for basic human rights does not make me weak, just because I don’t believe we should force the notion of gender segregated bathrooms doesn’t mean I should be regarded as overly sensitive because I’m not. I don’t proclaim all conservatives to be racists or sexists because they aren’t, so don’t belittle my status and tell me I’m a snowflake.

Another drawback that comes along with being a young liberal in a small town is this: “oh it’s just a phase, you’re in college where everyone thinks they are a liberal, you’ll get your head screwed on straight soon.” I’ve been told that exact thing and variations of it countless times, and this asserts this idea that being a liberal makes me immature. If I told any older white man and probably woman in my town that I was a conservative they would praise me and tell me how I was becoming a “fine young woman” but stating I am a liberal means I still have some “growing up to do.” Good glad to know how little my beliefs mean.

I spent the greater part of two years hiding my beliefs from the majority of my town simply because I was afraid to hear the things that knew I would be told. Now I’ve come to realize that I don’t care if anyone calls me a snowflake or denounces what I say cause I’m young and in college. I have a voice and shouldn’t be afraid to use it, just because it goes again glorified norms in my town. My beliefs are not less than, just because they don’t line up with the majority.

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