I Followed My Dream of Moving to California

**Don’t miss the video at the end of this post**

If I had a dime for every time someone has responded with “WOW, that must have been a HUGE cultural shock” or “OMG, that must have been SUCH a big change for you!” when I tell them that I moved from Indianapolis, Indiana to Los Angeles, California, I would be a …well not millionaire, but pretty damn close. Listen, Indianapolis has a current population of nearly 1 million people. I didn’t grow up shucking corn on a farm (although my Mom did)…I grew up in the suburbs of a metropolitan city.  Yes, Los Angeles is a much larger, more diverse, and more liberal city (which are exactly the reasons why I love it), but c’mon, I was not a country bumpkin that moved all wide eyed and “well, GOLL-Y” to the first big city that I ever visited.

Where everyone thinks I grew up when I say “Indiana:”

rural AF

Where I actually grew up:

I’m a city girl at heart. The sounds of sirens are like music to my ears.  OK, that might be a little aggressive, but I love everything about living in a big city.  Diversity, sightseeing, restaurants, lesbians, events, etc….just STUFF to do!  That being said, moving to LA was one of the most empowering and life changing events in my life.  This August will be my 5 year anniversary with the City of Angels and we are still going strong.

In 2012, after over a year of applying for countless jobs all over California, I finally landed an incredible medical sales job in LA. If you want to know more of the background about why and how I got a job in LA, check out my other post: Saying Yes; My Catalyst to Manifesting

But here’s the thing, I had never actually been to LA.  In fact, I had never been to Southern California at all.  I had always been in love with the San Francisco bay area and had visited there over a dozen times but had never ventured south.  This was mostly because I didn’t know anyone there!  So there I was, 27 years old, and about to move to a city that I had never visited and where I didn’t know anyone.  I had three weeks to find an apartment and move my entire life (including two exceptionally large cats) across the country.

Yep, exceptionally large:

During a quick weekend trip to LA and a whopping 2 days of apartment hunting, I found a super cute one bed/one bath in the gayborhood, West Hollywood. And, lucky for me, my younger brother’s common sense had not yet fully developed and he offered to drive my car with his girlfriend at the time (now wife) and my chunky fur babies on a 4 day cross country road trip. My bad ass sister in law, Katie, who is a much better writer that I, wrote this amazing PUBLISHED short story about her experience on this adventure: What Cheeseburgers Look Like in Kansas.  I don’t want to give too much away but as it turns out, cats do not make ideal road trip companions. I also now know how to purchase a new car in the state of Utah over the phone.  Fun times.  Read the story, thank me later.

Starting from scratch in a new city is both terrifying and exciting.  Have you ever dreamed about dropping everything, moving away and just starting over in a new city, state, or country? Samsies.  Well, I did it, and it was incredible.  I feel like everyone at some point in their life should CREATE the opportunity to reinvent themselves in a new environment.  Not become someone new, but be in a situation where you are vulnerable and introduce yourself to people intentionally as the most true version of you.  It is in those vulnerable situations where you learn so much about yourself.  There were definitely moments of loneliness and pang of homesickness. Many bottles of wine and pints of ice cream were consumed  while “netflixing and chilling” with my cats before I developed a support system in my new city.

Take a trip alone, do that one thing you have always been wanting to do.  Start working on that bucket list that you keep adding to but never cross anything off. Stop making excuses to yourself about why now isn’t a good time.  You just need to save up a little money.  Just stop.  If I had allowed myself to do this…I would still be sitting in a cubicle in Indiana, hating my life.  Not because my life would actually be terrible but because I would KNOW on the inside that I was destined for something different but that I was too scared to make the leap and go for it.  You Know what I mean.. That feeling on the inside that you would just MEANT to be.

Los Angeles is my home now.  I feel grateful every single day for the amazing people I have met and the incredible experiences this city has provided.  This Indiana girl won’t be moving home anytime soon.

XO Liz Baxter – Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbian

Follow me on:
IG: @LizBinLA

Twitter: @LizBinLA 

YouTube: Liz Baxter

My Experience Being a Lesbian on FOX’s Love Connection

Well, that’s a wrap and what a ride it has been!  A little over a week ago, FOX’s Love Connection with Andy Cohen aired an episode featuring lesbians looking for love featuring yours truly.  It was such an incredible and empowering experience.  The support I received from my friends and family was unreal and the reaction from the media and strangers (I received many awesome messages) was also overwhelmingly positive.  If you missed the episode, check it out here:

Episode #8 (second half):

Watch the Episode

Also, I wrote some words (AKA a Commentary) for The Advocate that was recently published and summarized my feelings about this entire experience.  Please take the time to read below.  Also, don’t miss the recap video that I made with Alison (if you are wondering who Alison is, WATCH THE DAMN EPISODE, YO!) at the end of this post.

My Words for the Advocate:

When I was asked to be a contestant on Love Connection’s first lesbian episode, I said, “No. Hell, no.”

I have a corporate job and a conservative family, and the thought of potentially embarrassing my family and my vulnerable self on national television wasn’t appealing. But after I weighed my potential connection to the show against the many opinions of family and friends, I had a revelation: This was bigger than me and more important than any concern or criticism.

I was 23 when I realized I was gay. Many people say they knew they were queer long before they identified as such, but this was not the case for me. Sometimes I wonder, If I had been more exposed to different types of queer women at an earlier age, would it have been different for me?

The L Word is arguably the most successful lesbian-focused show ever aired (and it’s coming back!) and set the bar high with its six-season run. I only wish that the show had been around sooner, so young women like me could have access to a world where there isn’t a singular definition of a lesbian.

I am only one small piece of an enormous community. The LGBTQ demographic, like any other, is created by people of diverse ethnic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds, with countless interpretations of beauty. Yet human nature encourages the impulse to seek out films and television shows that mirror what we look and act like. The media routinely mirrors heterosexual norms, which breeds ignorance and trivializes those who do not identify with the mainstream. Exposure to the LGBTQ community gives a tiny morsel of knowledge to those who don’t experience out LGBTQ people in their everyday lives.

Commonalities are the ties that bind us. I am a kindhearted queer person who wants to love and be loved. How relatable is that? The Love Connection episode that focuses on single queer women lends the LGBTQ community a platform to be seen not as “other,” but as relatable people — just like a friendly neighbor.

Maybe a mom will see me and the other amazing women on the episode and realize we aren’t any different from her daughter or herself. Perhaps she’ll have her own revelation, seeing that the portrayals of lesbians in popular culture are skewed and inaccurate. Queer women are not going through “a phase.” Lesbians are not bored heterosexuals. Maybe a parent who has an LGBTQ child — who just came out or has yet to — will now have a more informed and hopeful perspective. And they’ll feel more at ease because they know there are other people out there like their child. A mom or dad will be comforted knowing their daughter or son is and will be OK. Maybe someone who is in the closet, struggling and suffering, will see this episode and no longer feel alone.

As I reflect on my hilarious experiences filming Love Connection, I feel nothing but gratitude to be on the first queer women episode of that show. A Fox prime-time dating show, based on one that produced over 2,100 heterosexual episodes, will have its first lesbian seeking love. It’is more important now than ever for television and the media at large to continue the normalization of all LGBTQ individuals. People relate to people, not labels.

Link to the Commentary: The Advocate

Check out the Recap Video I made with Alison:

Also, peep my other videos and follow my YouTube channel here: Liz Baxter YouTube

More to come, this is just the beginning for me. 🙂

XOXO

Liz Baxter

Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbian

Follow me on:
IG: @LizBinLA

Twitter: @LizBinLA 

YouTube: Liz Baxter

Today there will be Lesbians on Love Connection with Andy Cohen

Holy Cannoli, today is the day!  I am both nervous and excited!  Tonight at 9:00pm on FOX, the Love Connection with Andy Cohen will make history by airing the first ever gay or lesbian episode. I made a quick video yesterday about how I was feeling (spoiler, I was kind of freaking out):

Also, check out my media page to watch my live interview on KTLA from yesterday and listen to my radio appearance on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM Radio show (Channel 102) earlier this week: https://yourfriendlyneighborhoodlesbian.com/liz-baxter-lesbian-media-love-connection/

I seriously cannot thank everyone enough for all of the AMAZING support!  I have been feeling so much love from friends, family, and strangers…my heart is so full.  I hope that you all enjoy the episode and I will be writing more about the whole experience soon.  ALSO, I will be making a YouTube video with one of the amazing women that I met on the show so follow my YouTube Channel if you don’t already.

Love you all!! XO

Liz Baxter

Follow me on:
IG: @LizBinLA

Twitter: @LizBinLA 

YouTube: Liz Baxter