I have lived a lot of place but none of them have ever been home.
I grew up in the bay area (San Francisco bay area). For the most part that was an experience I survived. Not to say it was all bad but I had no friends and never connected. It was a place I existed. From there I moved to South Lake Tahoe.
Tahoe was a bit better I have always loved the mountains and Tahoe is so beautiful. I connected with nature a lot. I did develop a few friends at Tahoe, but as much as I love the beauty of Tahoe it was never really home..
Next for me was San Diego. For the most part SD was just a lot of fun. I did even better there actually had a couple close friends and quite a few casual friends. But mostly I just had a lot of fun, I never connected to the place.
From there I joined the Army and was stationed in El Paso Tx. This was much like San Diego but not as much fun, with one major exception. I met my wife in El Paso. But El Paso itself was simply the place I was stationed.
Then was Germany. Germany was wonderful, such a beautiful place. It is so filled with history and wonder and beauty. But it was never home. It was just a duty station I knew I would be leaving.
Next was a few short term spots in the US ending in the Puget Sound (aka Seattle metropolitan area) I lived in a few different suburbs around Seattle and finally ended up in south Seattle. Overall I lived in the Puget Sound for over 20 years. Most of my kids were born there. I had some fantastic times there. I started my tech career there and did a lot of other things there, but still it was never home.
Then in 2018 God, fate, the universe, whatever you want to call it, moved me to Utah. On the outside it seemed I was moving here for a job, but the reality is so much more. I was moved here to find myself in the most meaningful way. I was moved here to become Jasmine-Arabella.
Here my wife and I explored what it meant to be trans. Here I took my first few baby steps into the LGBT+ community. Here I started my transition and came out as the real me. Here I have found a home, a place I call home beyond a house I live in or place with a few friends.
I don’t know that I have words for this but, for the first time in my entire life I feel I am home, a place where I belong. There is love and acceptance here for who I truly am. There are people here I know and love and have touched me so deeply. There is a queer community here that has embraced me and I have embraced them.
Sure there are other places all of this could have happened. But it didn’t happen somewhere else it happened here. I have been blessed and touched and loved by so many people here that the land and community are deeply intertwined in my heart, as if we are one.