FAGBUG: Why I Drove Three Thousand Miles With a Stranger

So why did I do it? Why did I get into a rainbow car with a complete stranger and drive 3,000 miles across the country? The answer is simple: life is short. Life is really, really short. So why are you waiting to live? That is a question I ask myself whenever I feel like I’m holding myself back. In this case, I had a good feeling about Erin. The movie she had created was excellent and having an opportunity to be a part of the whole Fagbug experience wasn’t going to come around again. Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor. So, that was my thinking, I think it’s a simple approach, but it was that way of thinking that got me from Seattle to New York over the course of five days and completely rewired my inner-activist and got me back to where I know I should be.

Day 5 – Friday, July 5th:

I don’t know how it was possible, but somehow I was unable to fall asleep right away, so I only got about 3 hours of sleep before being woken up by my friend. I wanted to make a point to visit with him since we hadn’t had much time the night before, but I was a little sad to be giving up extra hours of sleep. I think in total over the four nights we were traveling, I slept about 20 hours. I suppose that averages out to a sane amount of sleep each night.

We were lazy that Friday morning. We didn’t get into the car to head home until a little after 9am. Our destination for the day was New York though, so we were going to make it home by the end of the day! Erin said that, even though she had managed about 8 hours of sleep, she was feeling more tired on Friday than on any other day so far. As we loaded ourselves back into the little rainbow car, I took note of the fact that we were parked in a VERY rural, conservative part of the country. I’m not sure how our little VW Beatle went over in that little town, but I was happy to be heading back toward civilization.

A couple of tidbits from our trip (all my opinion):

The most accepting state: Minnesota

The least accepting state: Ohio

Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, Ohio scared the crap out of me, at least the part that we were in. Erin did an interview with a man outside of a very crowded gas station/rest stop somewhere in the state and I had this sense that there were more and more eyes turning toward us, and that everyone was just kind of slowly circling in the longer we were there. Erin wrapped things up with the guy who, by the way, said that he was against gay marriage but would likely still love his children if they were gay, and then we got the heck out of there. Thanks for the thrill, Ohio.

Once we made it back onto the highway and were headed toward Pennsylvania, a girl in the fast lane snapped a photo of the car and then screamed, “I LOVE IT!” at us. It was then that I felt like we were back in business, back where we needed to be. I probably slept for less than an hour in the car the entire trip from Seattle to Syracuse, NY, but when we crossed through into PA I was definitely out. When I woke up, I felt like I was already home – when you travel across the entire country, getting to a bordering state is a big accomplishment!

We made it to Syracuse by 8:02pm – still late, but pretty close to what we had hoped for. The only two things that had held us up were that we were trying to get shots of the Fagbug with a rainbow that was arching perfectly across the sky AND there was traffic – traffic on our very last hour of the trip. Dang.

So there you have it. 3,000 miles, 12 states, over a dozen interviews, 2 crazy gay people, and one rainbow car.



4 thoughts on “FAGBUG: Why I Drove Three Thousand Miles With a Stranger

  1. Thanks, Matty for yet another terrific account of a marvelous chapter in your life. I finally had time to read it from Seattle to NY. Congratulations! Good luck with your next venture! Keep in touch.

  2. Just stqrting to catch up with the blog. I’m sure that Emily told you about us seeing the Fagbug. So cool that you felt safe once you crossed into Pa. – my home state.

  3. Margie and Larry,

    Thank you for the kind comments and for taking the time to read! It was such an adventure and I learned a lot about this country while doing it. Hope you are both well and that retirement is treating you well!

  4. What a great adventure you just went on! I happen to be in Anchorage and ran into Matthew in front of a coffee shop and he sent me the link for your blog. I’ve only read the Fagbug posts so far but it sounds like you’ve just had an unforgettable experience.

    Yay for you Matty, glad you’re getting back into the activitism Nome tampened down for you. Can’t believe it’s been a year since I saw you last but I’m glad you’re doing well. Email me back and we can catch up since I am still anti-social media. Love and miss you!

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