I see this proven true almost every time I wear my favorite home-white Tigers hat around DC and when I travel. This past weekend on a trip my wife and I took down to South Carolina, I had two uplifting encounters with members of Detroit’s Diaspora thanks to my hat.
Walking from my office to catch a cab, I crossed paths with a man who asked if I was from Detroit after seeing my hat. I replied “No doubt” with a smile. We proceeded to talk for a few minutes, and I learned that he was from Detroit and had recently moved to the city. It turns out we work down the street from one another. We exchanged info and I asked him to check out Detroit Diaspora before ducking into a taxi.
While on the road my wife and I stopped at a Target in Virginia to buy some snacks. While in the store, a couple came up to me and inquired about…my Tigers hat. They asked “Are you from Detroit? Are you a Tigers fan? We are!” To all of this I replied yes. They asked about Comerica Park. It turns out that they had lived in VA for 20+ years but were originally from Saginaw. I told them my story and about, wait for it, Detroit Diaspora. They said their college-aged son had hopes to move back to MI. This warmed my heart, as did our whole conversation near the pretzel aisle.
The moral of the story: rep home. Rep it hard. It’ll open the door to amazing interactions with people who you may have never spoken to otherwise. We are attracted to the familiar and to people who outwardly express who they are and what they care about. For me, it’s home. Whatever it is for you, show it.