As mentioned, I was born in West Virginia. I went to highschool and college in West Virginia. My family is from West Virginia. Needless to say, I’ve been bombarded with ignorant questions and commentary for a large portion of my adult life. Below are ten of the most cliche stereotypes and misconceptions about my birth state:
- First and foremost: West Virginia is its own state. It is not the “western part of Virginia.” Do you know how many times people tell me, “Oh! I have friends from Richmond!” That’s wonderful, but that’s also a different state.
- I am not, nor do I have any plans to be, married to my brothers, cousins, uncles or any other relatives.
- West Virginia is not the poorest state in the country. That honor has been bestowed upon Mississippi. Congrats!
- I have all of my teeth. Well, unless you want to get technical- because I did have my wisdom teeth removed. And might I add- my teeth are pretty glorious?
- With a 72% highschool graduation rate, WV is actually above the national average.
- The movie, Deliverance, (dueling banjos?) has absolutely nothing to do with West Virginia and is actually set in Georgia.
- I’m not a coal miner’s daughter.
- I don’t say, “ya’ll.”
- While there’s still work to be done- we’re not all racists. West Virginia is the only state that was formed by seceding from a Confederate state.
- We may not have sports teams, but we’ve got a symphony.
While West Virginia might not be the most cosmopolitan state, it sure is beautiful and there aren’t many people much nicer. They sure aren’t lying when they say, “almost heaven.”