Michigan is home. Nearly every year, my wife and I briefly entertain the possibility of moving away to find greener grasses elsewhere, and yet we never do. We love living in the Michigan Mitten, but it's undeniable that there are some definite negatives for us (such as winter and homophobia). So why do we stay put, year after year? Believe it or not, we're incredibly proud to live in Michigan as a queer family, and we're even more excited to raise our son together here.
Despite the downsides, there are some very real and concrete reasons that we always decide this is the place for us. We love nature. We get to explore all the time. Living in Michigan is basically like living in two different states. We love the food. We love to camp. We love the thought of raising our son in a place that's as culturally diverse as we are. Michigan has always been home, so it feels almost like betrayal to leave now.
We're staying put in the Great Lakes State, and here are seven reasons why:
We Get To Enjoy All Four Seasons
My mother always said that one of the best things about living here was that we have four distinct seasons. Some years the weather is so completely nuts that it feels like way more than four seasons (what’s the name for that time of year when it thaws completely and then snows again and then thaws partly and everything is brown/gray slush?), but regardless of that, I love the variation and I think my kid probably will too.
An Endless Supply Of Lakes
Michigan is made up of two peninsulas, and they are both just as amazing as the other. Sure, some other Midwestern states may touch one or two of the Great Lakes, but Michigan is all over them. A friend from California once lamented that Michigan doesn’t have any “real beaches,” to which I asked if she had ever been to Lake Michigan. She hadn’t. Many of the Great Lakes feature sand dunes and beautiful sandy beaches that would make any ocean goer swoon.
In addition to the five Great Lakes, there are also over 11,000 small lakes, offering nearly endless joy for people who, like us, love water. Bingo!
Everyone We Love Is Here
We have a small handful of close friends and family members who are far flung, sure. But for the most part, our families, both biological and chosen, all reside in the Great Lakes State. We have an amazingly supportive community here in Detroit, and awesome family spread out all over the Lower Peninsula. These things are huge values to us, and we love being able to raise our son around all that love.
We're Very, Uh ... Spirited
When people move away from Michigan, they miss the beer. Do you enjoy breweries and delicious, varied local beer options? Come to Michigan, we’ve got you covered.
What Other State Is Shaped Like A Mitten?
How cool is that? How would I even talk about where I live if I couldn’t point to my hand? How do you guys in other places do it?
We're Proud To Live Here
Michigan is politically conservative, which can be incredibly frustrating in so many ways. That said, my wife and I have found so many positives to living and raising our kid here. Queer communities seem to grow stronger out of necessity, our families have been super supportive, and Michiganders tend to be a pretty friendly bunch.
Michigan's Weird, And So Are We
I know that everyone probably thinks that the place they grew up is super weird. But y’all, Michigan is really, really weird. Beautifull weird. Michigan created people like Madonna and Ted Nugent and Andrew WK. Michigan can be incredibly rural, with beautiful farms and wilderness, but also includes my favorite post industrial city in the universe. It’s a weird mix of extremes, and we fit right in.