Today’s post is sponsored by megabus.com. Starting today, tickets are available for just $5.00 to travel from Philadelphia to NYC for the Pride Parade on June 30th via a Megabus! Tickets are available starting today at this link. The bus leaves Philly at 7:10 am, arriving in NYC at 9:10 am. You’ll be there in time for the Pride parade to begin at 11 am!I am a cisgender straight female. That has meant my life has been easier, more accepting, and a lot less confusing than a lot of people. No one has questioned who I’ve dated (except for that one guy I dated for two weeks who painted his nails black, sophomore year), who I’ve loved or who I’ve slept with. No one. I feel like I am the gender I look like, I am attracted to the opposite gender, and everything is pretty darn vanilla as far as that goes. And I’ve done nothing to make it that easy. I didn’t do anything. I was just born this way.
One person who wasn’t born that way was my grandfather, affectionately named by me, because I couldn’t pronounce his last name, Grandpa Rabbit. My grandfather died when I was 10, and while I have strong memories of him, it wasn’t until years after he was gone that I was told he was gay.
As a young man, he played the piano for the church and he owned a flower shop, all while being married to my grandmother and raising 3 young children. The story of my grandfather’s outing and the fallout that ensued is a painful one that caused fissures throughout the lives of everyone involved. His children, the oldest just 13 (my mom), lost their father. His wife, my sweet, amazing grandmother, became a single mother with 3 young children to support, in the 60s, when everyone blamed their divorce, and his “lifestyle choice”, on her.
The hurt ran deep, and while some of the relationships, especially with my mom and her sister, were restored over the years (he was able to have a relationship with his grandkids), one thing remained true: he was never accepted for who he was and who he loved. As an adult, as I’ve loved many a gay friend, bi-sexual bff and have seen friends and acquaintances transition genders, the sadness I’ve felt over my grandfather’s isolation has been strong. It’s a complicated sadness, mixed with sympathy for my grandmother, mom and her siblings because of the pain he caused. But I’ve realized I can both feel deep sorrow for the man who was trapped in a life he couldn’t really live, and be so sad at the hurt he caused and the ramifications still felt today.
This month I’ve been thinking a lot about Grandpa Rabbit. He’s not here now for me to love and accept, no matter who he loves and is attracted to, but he’s a reminder for me to continue to support and love on those who haven’t had it as easy as this cisgender straight female has.
Pride month is about celebrating those who haven’t been accepted and loved. It’s about coming along side the millions whose dating lives were criticized, whose sex lives were dug into in inappropriate ways and whose genders weren’t believed. It’s about supporting those who didn’t have it so easy, and celebrating those who were able to come out (or always were out) in loving, supportive families and friend groups. (Officially, Pride Month is held to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969.)
It’s about being PROUD of who you are, speaking out against the discrimination of and violence against the LGBTQ communities. It’s about equal rights for all. It’s about celebrating sexual diversity and gender variance. And looking damn fabulous while you celebrate it!
#PrideRide with MegaBus
As a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, megabus.com is celebrating Pride Month by offering $5 tickets to the NYC Pride Parade, departing from Philadelphia, on June 30. Those who snag a $5 ticket will ride the new rainbow wrapped megabus to NYC and arrive in time for the parade!
WIN MEGABUS VOUCHERS: Send us your trip confirmation by 6/30 to be entered into a drawing for two, $50 megabus vouchers! Send them to us at admin @ thats – normal dot com.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of megabus.com. The opinions and text are all mine.