Erin Davies, a 29-year-old lesbian from Albany, NY, saw something shocking written on her car last year:
… her Volkswagen Beetle had been defaced sometime in the night. The car, which had been parked on the street, had been spray painted with the words “fAG” and “u r gay” in an alarming red.
She figured it was a response to the rainbow sticker she had on the bumper.
Coincidentally or not, it happened on the National Day of Silence.
But instead of cleaning her car and erasing the slurs, she kept them there as a reminder to everyone — including the unknown person who wrote them.
“This is my response back to that person. That person was trying to communicate something to me—I’m trying to communicate something back, ” Davies said.
“My goal is to get something back to that person. I’d like them to know my name and think twice about doing that again,” continued Davies.
She didn’t stop there.
Originally intending to drive the defaced car for only a week, with a friend’s encouragement, Davies decided to take it on a cross country trip that lasted 58 days and covered 45 states and Canada. Her goal: filming a documentary about her experiences driving the “fagbug.” Her friend dubbed it: “Fagbug: Activism on Wheels.”
On the trip, she experienced both the best and the worst of humanity. In Florida, she learned of a young gay man named Ryan Skipper who had been stabbed 20 times and had his own blood put on his car. In Greenville, S.C., she bonded with the mother of a gay man named Sean Kennedy, who had been punched so hard outside of a bar that three bones in his skull fractured. He fell, his head landing on concrete. He died from his injuries. His mother refused to be silent about the incident and is now an activist against hate crimes.
Her car has changed since then to be a more positive symbol of gay pride:
Ruth N. Geller tells the full story in Humanist Network News.
Update: Reader Nowoo sent over a picture he took of Erin and the Fagbug in Vancouver from last August.
[tags]atheist, atheism, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, glbt, lgbt[/tags]