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No Place Like LA: Travis, and the Jennifer/Genaphyr at Starbucks




KPCC listener Travis Howard moved to LA from Nashville almost 20 years ago.
KPCC listener Travis Howard moved to LA from Nashville almost 20 years ago.
Travis Howard

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No Place Like LA is our series that asks transplants and immigrants to LA, "When was the moment you felt that Los Angeles was truly home?"

This is Travis Howard's story

I moved from Nashville 20 years ago, and I live in Hollywood Heights.

Having been born in the South, because I was such an outcast, I'd never felt like I belonged in Tennessee.

When I got to Los Angeles, this was something like I'd never seen before. This was like something you've only seen in movies, and it was awesome!

I was tending bar, I was fixing toilets – it felt like you could just show up and go, "I'm a household appliance juggler," and everybody's like, "Oh, welcome!"

So one day I'm over at Starbucks standing in line.

There's a girl behind the counter that was the barista, and I order my coffee and I glance down at her name tag.

Her name is Jennifer. Except, Jennifer had decided to spell it "Genaphyr."

Ugh, Hollywood!

You roll your eyes and you're like, "Come on! Just spell your name."

But as I'm leaving and I go back to my life and do my thing, I start to realize...wait a minute.

I'M GENAPHYR.

I came out here and I got to create who I was. I got to write my own "name" how I wanted to write it. We're all misfits.

It made me so happy. I was like, 'Yeah, I'm a citizen of Los Angeles now."

Tell us your own story about that time you truly felt at home in Los Angeles