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GENESEO – The nationally known ‘Fagbug,’ a Volkswagen beetle that has embarked on a trans-national journey to raise awareness for gay rights, was in town on Monday for a special screening of a film by the car’s owner, titled ‘Fagbug Nation.’
According to a public figure Facebook page for the ‘Fagbug,’ on April 18, 2007, Erin Davies, an art education graduate student at Sage College of Albany, found the words “fag” and “U R gay” [sic] spray-painted on her car. In response, she put her studies on hold and embarked upon a video-documented, 55,000 mile (89,000 km) journey through 41 U.S. states, during which she interviewed 536 people and spoke out against hate crimes.
Davies received sponsorship from Volkswagen Group of America and HD Radio to use for gas money, car expenses, and the film. In 2009, Davies’ documentary film, Fagbug, premiered at film festivals throughout the United States, and is also available on Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and iTunes.
After driving her car with the graffiti for one year, Erin decided to give her car a makeover. Erin now tours with her rainbow Volkswagen Beetle speaking at Universities across North America. She’s presented the ‘Fagbug’ story to over 300 schools (including Yale and Cornell University) and businesses (including VW of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Docs In Progress) to bring awareness about hate crimes and to confront homophobia.
Davies has been featured on NPR, ABC News, Newsweek, BBC, Vanity Fair, and was highlighted in Clara Lewis’ book “Tough On Hate.” Vanity Fair defined ‘Fagbug’ in “Words That Shaped The Week” as: FagBug [fag buhg], noun: An adorable, polychromatic, and frequently vandalized Volkswagen Beetle designed to facilitate LGBT-tolerance.
“Fagbug Nation” is the sequel documentary made about its quest to reach all 50 states. “Fagbug Nation” takes you behind the wheel of what it’s like to drive the once vandalized, now famous “Fagbug.” With six years of touring under her belt, director Erin Davies (“Fagbug,” 2009, Netflix) has her mind set on getting her car to all 50 states, Hawaii and Alaska being the final two. To pull this off, Erin went 54 days without a car, put her car on 5 boats, and flew on 14 planes. The ‘Fagbug’ gets lei’d in Hawaii and drives through the midnight sun to Alaska, but first makes a pit stop at the Equality House in Topeka, Kansas.
PHOTO CAPTION: The ‘Fagbug’ outside of the Integrated Science Center on the SUNY Geneseo campus.