It's something I've known for a few months could possibly happen and I've told a few people, but now it's time to let everybody else in on the secret.
After eight years, the Texan in exile is ending that status. Due to a combination of factors, my time here in Louisville will be coming to a close as I head back to my beloved hometown and the Lone Star State in May.
Some of it is driven by family. My parents and grandmother aren't getting any younger. My niece just turned ten on January 20 and I'd like her to get to know her Aunt Monica a little better.
The imminent sale of the house I was living in was another contributing factor that forced me to decide whether I wanted to live in Louisville for another ten plus years, move to another city or go back home.
When I arrived here in September 2001 I was welcomed with open arms by the Louisville activist community, Edenside Christian Church and my pastor Rev. Sally McClain, U of L, the Fairness/CFAIR family and the wonderful people at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary's Women's Center.
Besides Dawn, Polar and Karen having my back, I've gotten to meet wonderful folks like Dawne Gee, Dr. Kaila Story, Angie Fenton, Carla Wallace, and a long list of local and state politicians. I was the bridesmaid/DJ of a wedding. I've gotten the opportunity to meet wonderful people like Shaha Sharron, Chrystal Russell Hawkins, LynAnne Evans, Sheila O'Bannon, my neighbors Lee and Selena Burchfield, Jaison Gardiner and many others too numerous to list among the people who reside here I'm proud to call my friends.
Despite the circle of supportive friends, associates and allies, the invitation to sit on several civic boards, chances to contribute my talents to making this community and state better and opportunities to expand knowledge of trans issues, I've been unhappy here for the last two years. Much of my unhappiness is centered on my belief that my personal growth has plateaued and stagnated and I'll need to relocate in order to get those growth opportunities.
There's unfinished business back in Houston that I'm ready, more knowledgeable and in a better mental space to tackle. I like big cities and the smorgasbord of entertainment options they have to offer.
Add to that increasing demands for my talents as a speaker and panelist discussing transgender issues from an African flavored perspective and it has become apparent to me that I need to be in a city with more air service options than what I have currently available in Da Ville.
And frankly, after eight years, I just missed home and all things Texan.
So I'm heading back to H-town at an interesting time in the city's history and development. We have our second female mayor in Annise Parker. Metro has broken ground on four new light rail lines that will be completed in 2012, and the new Green Line will terminate six blocks from where I'll be living. A family reunion and my 30 year high school reunion will be taking place a few months after I arrive along with the November elections. Being near my childhood friends and family will be a major plus.
And the 2011 and 2016 NCAA Final Fours will take place in my hometown.
So yep, it's been real Louisville. There have been some positive moments, but it's time for this native Houstonian to head back home.
I will be back to visit and who knows, may end up with a speaking engagement or two up here as well. Besides, you can't get Impellizzeri's pizza anywhere but here.