After spending four years away from her childhood home studying at a liberal-arts college near Kansas City, Emily Phillips returned home to Kahoka, Missouri as Emily Reyes, an “enlightened” 22-year-old woman married to a Guatemalan man, reports Stephanie McCrummen, but her new outlook is not going over well in her hometown. Still, Emily is keeping the lines of communication open.
Emily says “her worldview had changed since she left Kahoka,” writes McCrummen. “She had voted against Trump. She had become increasingly worried about the country since the election.”
The fourth of five children, Emily grew in Kahoka, a small, rural town of 2,007 “where almost every person was white, most were Republican and many were Trumps, an old Kahoka family name that has no relation to the president.” Now, she was back home from college, with a new husband, Cristian, getting ready to attend the Clark County Fair, a 136-year-old tradition.
“A sister-in-law had told Emily that she had become difficult to talk to lately, self-righteous and angry,” McCrummen says.
Being back hasn’t been easy. Long before her homecoming, she had tried to dissuade her parents from voting for Trump, during visits, telling them that a vote for Trump was a vote “to deport your future son-in-law,” to no avail, while other relationships with close friends and family members have also been strained by her “new outlook.”
Emily now lives with Cristian in Kansas City. Still, home is a lot closer than she sometimes likes to think.