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29: Moving Out

movingdayToday, we’re talking about drawing it out.

Specifically, is the “trend” of self-deportation (moving to states or countries that have laws that are friendlier to you / your life) truly increasing? Are you a part of this trend? Do you want to be?

Show notes and links:
“Self-Deportation”: It’s a Real Thing, and It Isn’t Pretty (Mother Jones)

Whole Foods? Cracker Barrel? What you eat tells how you vote (MSNBC)

Queer Migration Research Network


Full episode text

First of all, it’s incredibly important here to clarify that “self-deportation” has, over the last few years, been a phrase used in a variety of ways. In the 2008 presidential election, “self-deportation” became a euphemism for the immigration enforcement policy that is, essentially, “make things so miserable that individuals who emigrated illegally choose to leave.” This is done through the creation of “choke points” where everything from getting medical care to enrolling children in school, or even getting vaccinations, involves a citizenship check.

There’s another, parallel narrative to self-deportation, however. One often referred to as “queer migration”, where LGBTQIA individuals will choose to purposefully uproot their lives and move to a different city, state, or even country in order to live in an area where the laws and social structure are more conducive to their living out of the closet. In many ways, I’m a part of this self-deportation trend, as I moved from a small town not known for its embrace of the “different” to the Inland Northwest.

One could even say that there’s a more subtle form of this trend happening in political divisions — in the Cook Political Report, David Wasserman has pointed out the growing divide between Cracker Barrell and Whole Foods voters. Individuals in areas with each one of these outlets tend to vote a particular direction, and areas of the country have one or the other, but areas with both are really becoming less common..

Yet there is also a strong argument that by moving out, rather than staying and changing an area with your own presence, one could be making the divide bigger. Yet every individual makes a choice of what’s best for them, and the numbers do seem to indicate a trend.