1. You’re responsible for Bush.
It doesn’t matter if you did vote for Obama in 2000 and 2008. You’re from Texas; he was your governor, the only candidate you supported, and you’re the reason the US went into Iraq and Afghanistan. Congratulations.
2. We all want to secede.
Only about 1% of Texans are seriously committed to the idea of the Lone Star State leaving the US and forming a new Republic of Texas. It sounds good in theory, but could you imagine crossing the border at Louisiana and changing to Texas currency?
3. We’re all biblethumpers and racists.
I’ll admit, we haven’t always had the best track record when it comes to being known as a diverse, openminded state. But Westboro Baptist Church is in Kansas, Florida is responsible for Trayvon Martin’s killer. There’s plenty of evil across the world, but we’ve got our share of good too:
4. Only good people are from Austin.
I have to address this, because it ALWAYS comes up as a traveling Texan. Although I did go to UT Austin and consider it my second home, I was born and raised in Dallas. Just because Austin is a liberal and cultural bastion doesn’t mean every other Texan who doesn’t hang his hat there isn’t worth knowing. Austin has 900,000 people; Texas has 27 million. Statistically, some of those 26 million must be at least a little cool.
5. You own a gun and use it daily.
Someone stole your parking spot at HEB? I don’t think so… we’ll settle this with a shootout. Alright, let’s get this out in the open:
- Yes, a lot of Texans do own guns. Up to 36% in urban areas, around 30-50% statewide.
- As evidenced by the confusion in the aftermath of the attack on Dallas police officers, open carry is legal in Texas. Anyone with a proper permit can display his or her gun.
- Concealed handguns are also quite popular
HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean everyone, everywhere, at any given moment is packing heat once you enter the Lone Star State. Some businesses ban open carry, and many of us do in fact get through the day without trying to shoot something.
6. You are a cowboy.
Aside from a few policeman and preppy kids who go to equestrian school, Texas (and the world, really) has largely abandoned its use of horses. Nevertheless, that won’t stop someone from seeing an old John Wayne movie and assuming the average person in Dallas will come at them at full gallup swinging a lasso around, ready to hogtie him.
7. You have an accent.
Not every Texas has the standard twang you’ve come to appreciate from Hollywood. Right after two words nonnative English tend to spit out after meeting me “Bush!” and “cowboy!” the next question usually is, “where’s your accent?”
8. We’re all rednecks.
If Canadians are usually told they’re all nice and friendly, Texans are often accused of being uneducated hillbillies, wearing cowboy hats, spitting tobacco through a gap in our two front teeth, and getting in bar fights. Never mind the existence of Texas Tech, Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Austin, Baylor, and Rice: born a redneck, always a redneck.
9. We eat nothing but BBQ, steak, and Tex-Mex.
Not at all true! Sometimes I like to get a side of okra and a beer. And mashed potatoes. And some Blue Bell… why don’t we all weigh 300 lbs? There are famous BBQ places like Cooper’s in Llano and Tex-Mex eateries including Trudy’s, but our state has quite a bit of food diversity as well: Via 313 has, arguably, Texas’ best pizza. Dallas and Austin lean on the healthier side with a greater variety of green restaurants.
10. Our whole state is one big desert.
Texas is actually host to a large number of ecosystems, more so than many US states and even other countries.