The hidden subculture of gay cars
It began with one of those weird emails I so often receive. This one was an official invitation to the unveiling of a new car, and it was doubly suspicious as it was sent by some sort of gay-oriented promotional agency. The rainbow-colored flyer and its hunky imagery didn’t leave much space for doubts – nor the name of the car itself: the Opel Adam.
I am heterosexual and far from being an automotive expert, but the blatant sexual orientation of the campaign had picked my curiosity, so I googled around a bit… and I made a most surprising (for me) discovery. Did you know that gay cars are actually a thing?
Let me explain. Everybody knows the balding, paunchy fiftysomething sad male on a red roadster type. Or the superbike-riding virago, the clearly impotent twerp at the wheel of a Hummer, and so on. Road compensation is true. But apparently “car as a gay symbol” is such a fashionable statement that a whole culture revolves around it. To witness: this Italian website and its many international counterparts, that began extolling the virtues of the Adam one full year ago.
We could argue all day about the reasons for which people feel the need to characterize themselves in a stock role, and it would be interesting to analyze the business considerations behind the “gay car” industry – but one hard fact remain. According to those websites, there are people out there for whom driving a Toyota Celica, Audi TT, BMW Z3 or Mercedes SLK equates to declaring their sexual orientation. And there are boycotting campaign against Porsche, Hyundai and Kia because these are non-gay friendly brands – whatever that means.
I remain perplexed. The one thing I am sure of after these discoveries, however, is that the simulated starfield on the Adam’s roof is so absurd it borders on cool. Oh, wait: does this say something about me?