(Image of the Texas state flag courtesy of Texas State Archives and Library Commission)
Identity is certainly an important and occasionally thorny issue. The groups a person claims membership in certainly defines who they are, how they present themselves to the world, and how the world treats them in many ways. Nailing down who is a Texan or not can easily provoke passionate feelings. However, given that Texas is such a large place, it isn't hard to reckon that there's got to be many Texans out there.
It is certainly easy to point a few obvious things. First, someone who was born in the Lone Star State can understandably claim the Texan label. It doesn't matter if they currently live in the state or not. Beside, y'all's humble Texas Snax blogger is a native Texan who is currently also a texpat. In fact, I've spent most of my life living out of the state, but my momma and poppa (who weren't born in the state) knew enough to instill some Texan pride in me. Second, people -- regardless of where they were born -- who currently live in Texas should also easily justify claiming the label. Besides, we've seen all sorts of Houston residents expressing their Texas pride to Voice of America. Third, in my humble opinion, anyone who has a significant tie to the state should also claim the label, too. As big as a place as Texas is, Texans certainly need a big tent to fit plenty of folks -- why not more?
If all y'all are interested in scoring an official claim to the state for yourself or someone else, Texas Monthly's David Courtney (aka "The Texanist") recently shared some official ways to make someone a honorary Texan.
Applying "Texan" to anything is also bound to cast a wide net. Texas music, for example, certainly exhibits this. Recently, Austin public radio station KUTX launched the Texas Music Experience at tmx.fm. When KUTX program director Matt Reilly spoke with public radio program The Texas Standard about Texas music, he said, "The size of the state encompasses so much. You have so many different regions and populations in one state. You've got all of this cross-pollination… all of these different cultures coming together and just the wide-open nature of the state and the sort of attitude of sharing music and art."
Reilly mentioned that Texas musical acts include a wide range of artists including Beyoncé, Arcade Fire, the Butler Brothers, Steve Miller, and Kelly Clarkson. Let's not forget Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Megan Thee Stallion, George Strait, Lyle Lovett, and Sunny Sauceda. How could we leave Lizzo out as she moved to Texas as a child? There are so many more Texan musicians.
Quora user Zach Ashworth does a nice job of addressing the expanse of the Texan label. In response to the question "What does it mean to be a Texan?" Ashworth states:
Texas is so large and diverse that any answer would fail to incorporate some aspect of Texas. We run the gambit of types from the traditional southern good ol boy to the techy and forward millennials... Texas hold a little slice of whatever your looking for as long as your willing to work to find it. We value hard work and independence but would give the shirts off our back to help another. We value kindness but also will fight for what we believe without reserve.
Well said, Mr. Ashworth.
Fun fact: Regardless if y'all are Texans or not, Buc-ee's is a Texas company more than willing to help y'all celebrate the Lone Star State. We here at Texas Snax are trying our darndest to help out by shipping Texas favorites all y'all's way.