While hanging out recently with a friend of mine from out of town, she asked me for advice on how to ride a horse. I wasn’t much help since I can count the number of times I’ve ridden a horse on one hand. It seems everywhere I go people have their own idea of what life in Texas is like. Trust me when I say rarely does it involve square dancing or lassoing cattle (although we do enjoy a good two-step or line dance every so often). Here’s some advice for you: whether y’all are trying to be funny or are just extremely ignorant about Texas culture, stop. Please. These questions got really old by 2nd grade.
1. “Do you really ride a horse to school?”
Trust me, every Texan has heard this one before. The obvious answer is no, of course we don’t. How ridiculous would that be?! We do have these things called cars, y’all…
2. “Isn’t Texas’ government super conservative?”
Texas is often in the news for a state representative’s stance on abortion or gay marriage. And to an extent, yes, Texas is more conservative than many states. In reality, many of the major cities, like Houston and Austin, are very liberal.
3. “Why don’t you have an accent?”
Every time I meet a student who isn’t from Texas, I get asked this. The truth is that many Texans sound just like everyone else. Of course, we do say “y’all” every other sentence, but other than that, we actually sound like normal people.
4. “Aren’t Texans homophobic?”
This question upsets me. Texans are known for their friendliness and hospitality, but somewhere down the line 27 million people have gotten labeled so negatively. This assumption is so untrue. In fact, Houston is the largest city in the country with a lesbian mayor.
5. “Does your dad/boyfriend/uncle/brother own a truck?”
Thanks to “bro-country” artists (yes, that’s actually a music sub-genre) like Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan, the stereotype is that the bigger the truck, the bigger a man’s cred. Sure, Texas is home to a lot of trucks, but that doesn’t mean everyone owns one.
6. “You guys have a state pledge?”
Why yes, yes we do. Doesn’t your state?
7. “Does it really take 25 hours to drive from Houston to Dallas?”
While Texas is a very big state, I am happy to inform you that the drive from Houston to Dallas is not 25 hours long. It’s actually closer to four hours, unless you’re driving really, really slow.
8. “Aren’t all musicians from Texas country artists?”
While many Texans are proud country music fans, we’ve also conjured up artists like Beyonce, Selena, Janis Joplin, Bun B, Norah Jones, Hilary Duff and countless others.
9. “What’s it like living on a farm?”
I don’t know; why don’t you ask someone who didn’t grow up in the 4th most populated city in America?
10. “Texas is basically one big desert, right?”
A lot of far western towns look like they belong in a John Wayne movie, but Texas is so much more than tumbleweeds and sprawling ranches. Houston, for example, is swampy and so humid you’ll want to stay inside all summer. Austin’s got majestic hills and Port Aransas is one of the prettiest beaches you’ll see along the Gulf.
11. “Do all your exes live in Texas?”
George Strait really outdid himself with this song. Especially since we hear it referenced all. the. time. Just do yourself a favor and stop ruining a perfectly good song by asking us this.
12. “How many pairs of cowboy boots do you own?”
While plenty wouldn’t touch cowboy boots with a ten-foot pole, lots of Texans nod to their southern culture by owning at least one pair. (And the answer to the question, by the way, is three. I own three pairs.)
13. “How do you survive in the summer with this heat?”
Texans are resourceful. We have this thing called air conditioning. Plus, Texas has beautiful lakes, rivers, beaches and swimming holes. I’d say we get by.
14. “Why are Texans so freaking obsessed with Texas?”
Do you really have to ask? Because it’s amazing, that’s why!