Culture

Here Are Just Some Sweet Photos Of Abuelas Supporting All Of The LGBTQ+ Grandbabies In The World To Make You Feel Feelings

June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and that means that cities all over the U.S. will be holding their own very colorful, very gay parades to show off their pride for who they are. And as much gratitude as we have for allies that show up for their queer brothers and sisters, it’s still an unfortunate reality that older generations have a bit of catching up to do when it comes to supporting gay rights. This fact is particularly glaring in Latinx communities where many families still view straight lifestyles as “right” lifestyles.

That’s why it’s especially refreshing to see pictures of seniors showing up for their younger gay family members. These abuelas and abuelos are going out of their way to prove to society that love is love. Punto. Considering that many of these seniors grew up in conservative, non-tolerant times, we consider it a brave act to support gay rights so publicly. So without further ado, we present to you 20 pictures of abuelitas supporting their grandkids during Gay Pride Month.

1. This abuelita needs to open an Etsy store for gay nietos everywhere

According to this tweet’s caption, this adorable grandmother made her granddaughter a sweater with a rainbow on it as a way to support her granddaughter when she came out. Excuse us while we grab our tissues.

2. This well-dressed abuela is out there being supportive

We stan a queen who rocks a pantsuit to Gay Pride.

3. This abuela has been an ally years before it went mainstream.

According to this caption, this 92-year-old abuelita has been marching for gay rights for 30 years! She’s definitely a hero.

4. This abuela is marching for a family member dear to her heart

As the sign says, this fierce abuelita is proud of her trans 6-year-old grandson. The world needs more allies with as much passion as she has.

5. We want to know where this abuela got her outfit from.

We have a feeling this abuelita has the same stylist as Lady Gaga–and we couldn’t love it more.

6. This abuela doesn’t only support gay rights, she’s also a part of the community

We love seeing older generations rep the rainbow flag with such freedom–especially because we know they didn’t always have the same luxury.

7. This grandmother is woke in more ways than one!

We LOVE how she’s wearing both rainbow tie-dye and a button that says “ask to be tested”. We love an abuela that supports gay pride and safe sex!

8. This abuela looks over-the-moon to be out among the gays

The hat. The flag. The outfit. We can’t! We might just die of cute-overload.

9. Although this abuela is straight, that doesn’t stop her from marching

It’s women like this that are prime examples of what an ally should do: use your voice and your privilege to make a difference in the status quo.

10. This abuela is showing the youngins how to DO it

We love this grandma’s enthusiasm! We’ve gotten to the point where we walk around the parade for 20 minutes, complain about the crowds and the heat and beg our friends to go home. We wish we were more like this abuela!

11. This grandma’s support means so much to her grandson

This grandson’s caption says it all. This is just further proof that having allies in your family can be a game-changer.

12. We can’t forget about Insta-Grandma Baddie Winkle who is a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ cause

@baddiewinkle/Instagram

If you haven’t heard of Baddie Winkle, we’re happy to enlighten you. Baddie Winkled is a 96 years-young grandmother who has become Insta-famous for her young-at-heart lifestyle. She particularly favors rainbow-scale colors and is all about LGBTQ rights.

13. This grandmother knows how to make a catchy slogan:

“Grandmas for Gays” should definitely be on a T-shirt or two.

14. This abuela proves that you don’t have to go all-out to be an ally

@eloisa_melendez /Instagram

Sometimes, simply showing up as yourself (and a tiny little rainbow flag) is enough. There’s no “right” way to do Pride. Come as you are!

15. This abuela is dressed head-to-toe in rainbow garb for her granddaughter’s wedding

It’s one thing to show up to a gay wedding, but it’s another thing to SHOW UP FOR a gay wedding. This abuela wins all the things. We could all learn a thing or two from her.

16. This abuela has a few choice words for homophobes

Let’s be honest: we wouldn’t want to run into this abuela in an abandoned alleyway if you catch our drift.

17. Even this abuela’s puebla blouse is rainbow-colored!

We can’t get enough of how this abuela is fusing both her Latinx roots and her LGBTQ pride.

18. This grandma put her conservative beliefs aside to support her gay grandchild

She even wrote a touching anthem in support of the gay community. Check it out here (and try not to cry).

19. This abuela went so far as to IRON her granddaughter’s Bi Flag before the parade

This super adorable and also one of the most abuela-y things a grandmother could ever do. We mean, have you ever met an abuela that’s okay with your clothes being wrinkled?

20. And of course, the proudest abuelita of all time…

@celsohaddad/Twitter

Abuelita in One Day At a Time was like many grandmothers in the Latinx community: sometimes, stuck in the old ways that they grew up in, but when it comes down to it, they love their family no matter what. Plus, she’s hilarious

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

Culture

Puerto Vallarta Has Long Been An LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Destination And Here’s Why

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Puerto Vallarta is one of the favorite Mexican tourist destinations of the LGBT community. There are hotels, bars, nightclubs, beaches, and even drinks specifically for LGBT travelers, and due to the safety and welcoming environment for these guests, it is the first city in Mexico to receive the Gay Travel Approved distinction by GayTravel.com.

But why PV? What made Vallarta Mexico’s top gay destination?

Let’s start back at the beginning.

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

In the south of Puerto Vallarta you will find the “Old Town,” also called “The Romantic Zone,” the tourist area favored by expats and foreigners who want to soak up local traditions. The Old Puerto Vallarta is also considered the gay neighborhood since 1980, when the gay community and retired Canadians and Americans bought land and properties in order to create gay-friendly businesses. Today there’s a wide variety of attractions with this focus, including bars, restaurants, stores, nightclubs, and both budget and boutique hotels.

In this zone is nestled the popular beach Playa de los Muertos, which, although not exclusively gay, for the last 20 years has been known as a gay-friendly beach (also called Blue Chairs, because of the many blue chairs placed by a gay resort which bears the same name), mainly in the high season, from November to March.

Why is this pristine beach the LBGT meeting point? Because the gay-friendly beachfront hotels in the area causes—and guarantees—a concentration of LGBT tourists, bringing a multicultural ambience where members of this community will be respected without discrimination. In the morning they can socialize and enjoy the party atmosphere, and in the afternoon walk holding hands under the dazzling sunset, in a romantic atmosphere free of hostility. Such is the high demand for LGBT-friendly vacation spots that the area has been extended to include the green chairs and as far as the north coast, in the elegant Oceano Sapphire Beach Club, owned by gays.

But it’s about more than just the beach.

Credit: David Stanley / Flickr

Unlike certain countries, laws against homosexuality never existed in Mexico. There is, however, a strong macho culture and religious influence which disapproves it—nonetheless the locals show respect. Under these circumstances, the growing community has led LGBT organizations to work to promote a change of culture in the pursuit of equality. Their work has gotten results: they have achieved recognition of gay rights, and implemented laws against the provocation and incitement of hate or violence against LGBTs, and also to guarantee equality in employment and public accomodation and services. Even more, in 2013 Puerto Vallarta legalized civil union between LGBT couples, followed by same-sex marriage in 2016.

This city organized its first Gay Pride March, and has hosted the Pink & Proud Women’s Party—the equivalent lesbian celebration—for the last four years, with assistance from the local Canadian and American communities. The multiple events in support of the LGBT community have marked out Puerto Vallarta as the “Mexican San Francisco.”

Now, there’s a giant and flourishing LGBTQ tourism industry that welcomes people from around the world.

Credit: Kristopher Roller / Unsplash

For the last 10 years, the number of LGBT visitors has increased in Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco, and in order to meet demand, the number of LGBT-friendly resorts and touristic attractions has also increased. Now three of every 10 hotels in Puerto Vallarta are LGBT-friendly, and most also offer weddings and other symbolic ceremonies.

Bars, nightclubs and other amenities are already focused on this market, and there are also tours—like the Gay VIP Bars Tour—and even drinks—like the Gay Tequila and the Gay Energy Drink—to make these guests feel extra welcome. As a result, Puerto Vallarta now hosts International LGBT Business Expos, with important conferences and events, including fashions shows, beach parties and music festivals to celebrate this booming market.

Puerto Vallarta remains the gateway to Mexico for many LGBTQ travelers.

Credit: kwhigam / Flickr

Some other cities have recognized the demand, and are now attempting to attract LGBT tourism to their destinations. Puerto Vallarta is not letting it happen: diverse businesses—no matter the sexual preference—are joining forces to create organizations to promote this targeted brand of tourism. The market gives consumers what they want, and they have identified this growing target and will not let it go.

Beyond the marketing, Puerto Vallarta became a platform to support gay rights, and the LGBT community knows it and feels welcome here. What really keeps the LGBT community hitting Puerto Vallarta is the activism, respect, and freedom they find in this beautiful paradise.

Here Are Just Some Of The Ways My Abuela Taught Me How To Remove The Negative Energy From My Life

Culture

Here Are Just Some Of The Ways My Abuela Taught Me How To Remove The Negative Energy From My Life

Emily Bauman / Unsplash

If you were lucky enough to have a loving, doting abuela who looked after you while your parents worked overtime, you may have faint memories of her doing strange things around the house. She may have placed a cup of water behind the door, propped a broom upside down in a corner, or shooed everyone out the house so she could clean. No ordinary cleaning, it could be that on those Sunday mornings full of loud music and earthy aromas, your abuela was cleansing the house of negative energy. Feelings of unending exhaustion, illness, frustration, stress, or worry are signs that your home could use a limpieza too.

When I was a child, I would accompany my gold-toothed grandmother to Newark Avenue on Saturday afternoons. She would put curtains on layaway at Woolworth’s, and stop by the meat market and the fish market. Some Saturdays, our last stop before heading home was at la botanica. More than a magic shop, this was a place to procure spiritual elements from statues of Catholic saints to potions guaranteeing love and money. My grandmother would move nimbly about the shop selecting Indian Spirit money spray, incense, frankincense, and myrrh. Pretty biblical, right? I recall watching Sunday morning cartoons as she cleaned the apartment from back to front, windows open, a ritual concluding with her swinging her tiny cast iron cauldron, resin smoldering inside, while wearing an iconic bata. You know the one!

If you asked Abuela, she wouldn’t say this was Santería or Brujería of any sort.

Credit: Karim MANJRA / Unsplash

Latinidad is abstract in the way it allows a constellation of diaspora to take cultural practices from here and there, creating our own interpretations according to our needs and resources.

While energy-cleansing rituals can be extremely complicated; like the one where you buy a coconut, bathe it in Florida Water, and gently kick it around your entire home while smudging sage then kicking the coconut of your house, picking it up with your left hand, walking far away from your house and throwing the coconut over your head, making sure it splits, otherwise you will need to start the ritual again with a new coconut.

If you’re short on coconuts and time, but would like to try simple ways of cleansing your home of negative energy, here are a few simple suggestions inspired by Abuela.

It all begins by cleaning your home.

Credit: JESHOOTS.COM / Unsplash

De-clutter, organize, and arrange items neatly. The science behind cleaning shows your space is a reflection of your mind. Marie Kondo your situation to clear away bad energy, calling forth peace of mind and calming spirit. A real-deal abuela would advise you to clean your floors with La Bomba, a spiritual floor cleaner. Mop from the back of your home to the front door, and throw away the mop head. You probably won’t find La Bomba in Target. Check online botanica retailers, and look for all-purpose La Bomba solutions that can be used to clean your car and other spaces where you may have experienced a bout of bad luck.

Channel the elements: earth, air, fire, and water in your energy cleansing enterprise, like Earth.

Credit: elementsofsage / Instagram

Boasting benefits like curing insomnia, boosting your mood, and neutralizing ions, smudging sage has been widely attributed to Native American tradition. Sage sticks, and smudge kits are widely available, but if you are into drying your own sage, consider adding dried roses, lavender, palo santo, and rosemary. If nothing else, it looks pretty and your home will smell lovely.

Air

Credit: JOHN TOWNER / Unsplash

Open the window. It’s as simple as that. Release stale air to remove negative energy, and in the spirit of my own abuela, take down your curtains, give them a wash while you put up beautiful new curtains. Maybe you don’t believe in negative energy, but you can’t deny the uplifting effect of getting some fresh air.

Fire

Credit: Theresa Vargas / Unsplash

Burn bay leaves. Also known as laurel, the practice of burning bay leaves dates back to Ancient Greece. Write down all the things you want to release directly on the leaves, burn the leaves in a fireproof bowl, and safely discard the ashes.

Lighting candles is a large part of the cleansing process for abuelas too. Light candles of your favorite saint, or cruise your botanica for some highly specific candles promising to banish the evil eye—if that’s your thing.

Water

Credit: Anita Austvika / Unsplash

Like my abuela, place a glass of water behind a door, or place a glass of water under your bed, which is said to absorb negative energy.

Bathing, a literal cleansing, can also serve to clear bad energy. Abuela would advise you to bathe in your favorite flowers, perfume, milk, and honey, an ancient tradition found around the world. Light a candle, turn the lights down and ask for the things you want to receive as you luxuriate in your bath. 

Last, but not least—Florida Water! Wipe some across your forehead when you have a headache. Add it to your La Bomba floor cleaner. Pour some in your bath. Use it to wipe down your altars, doorways, and wash your hands with it after meeting with people who harbor negative energy. Or, quite simply, dab it on mosquito bites.

Finding peace in your home is imperative to your wellbeing. 

                                                Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

Experimenting with energy cleansing practices can take you down a winding cultural, and traditional path that can prove to be effective in your life. It can also bring a sense of closeness with an abuela who is no longer with you. Even if energy cleansing is not your thing, actively taking steps toward peace of mind is great thing, and I’m sure your abuela would love nothing more than to see you at peace. 

READ: This Woman Found Brujería In Her Wall During A Home Renovation And How Is She Still Standing There?!

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