Navigating Tradition and Progress — The Dilemma of Living in a Conservative Area

Athena
6 min readJan 1, 2024

In a world where the waves of progressivism and conservatism crash against each other, living in a traditionally conservative area can present unique challenges, especially when your family’s roots in the region run deep. This becomes particularly poignant when personal values clash with prevalent attitudes, such as those surrounding gender identity, LGBTQ+ rights, and other social issues. Additionally, it can become even more challenging when living next door to older relatives. Personally, I’m not willing to leave family that I care about just because people in the current area are directly opposed with my own beliefs.

The Weight of Tradition

For many, family and heritage are not just words but a deep-seated part of their identity. Generations of kinship bind people to their land, infusing a sense of belonging and responsibility. In conservative areas, this tie often comes intertwined with long-standing traditions and views that might not align with more progressive perspectives. Being a farmer’s daughter, I also face the fact that as we cash rent our land — it’s a source of passive income for my mother, then myself, and finally for my children and their future generations.

The Clash of Ideologies

The most significant point of contention often lies in the differing attitudes towards social issues. In regions known as ‘sundown towns,’ where exclusionary practices were historically prevalent, the echoes of such attitudes might still linger. Moreover, conservative reactions to gender identity and LGBTQ+ rights can create an environment that feels stifling or even hostile to those who champion diversity and inclusivity.

The Personal Toll

Living in an environment where your fundamental beliefs are constantly challenged can be emotionally draining. It’s a tightrope walk between respecting the traditions of your community and standing up for your convictions. This discord can lead to feelings of alienation, frustration, and a sense of being misunderstood by those around you. Add to that the feeling that your family could be in danger from people as I’m reminded of stories like what happened in Laramie WY.

The Decision to Move

For some, the solution might lie in relocation — seeking a community that aligns more closely with their values. This decision, however, is never easy. It…

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Athena

Mom of three boys. Computer programmer living in the country with my husband focusing on my hobbies and youngest son. https://ko-fi.com/athenaandrew