Out of the closet driving
Occasionally a Google Blog Ad will appear on my blog for “Gay Friendly Auto Sales” and I’ve been asked why do I have the ad and even just what are “Gay Friendly Auto Sales.” As I’ve stated before, I don’t discriminate against anyone when it comes to money, and if my homosexual readers feel comfortable buying a car through an ad on my site, then I’m glad the advertiser found a market. And if someone is making money marketing cars to a niche market, that sounds like America to me.
But apparently there is a downside to marketing cars to that niche market as The New York Times reports:
A few years ago, Meghan Daum, an op-ed contributor to The Los Angeles Times, wrote about a promising first date with a man that never led to a second one because, she later learned, the guy saw that she drove a Subaru Outback station wagon and concluded she must be a lesbian.
And when Joe LaMuraglia, the founder of Gaywheels.com, an informational site modeled on the likes of Autoweb.com, told his partner he wanted to buy a Mini Cooper convertible, the boyfriend joked that he would not be seen in it because the couple “would look like such a gay cliché,” Mr. LaMuraglia said.
Cars are no more straight or gay than cellphones, office chairs or weed whackers. But in recent years that truism has not stopped a perception among some motorists that certain cars can, in the right context, be statements about a driver’s sexual orientation.
Do cars make the orientation, or does the orientation make the car? What did my Geo Metro say about me before it went to the scrap yard? And what does my Hyundai Sonata say about me now? I didn’t know I should check a list first. I might’ve made this mistake:
Subaru has been the most prominent company to embrace the gay market. As long ago as 2000, the automaker created advertising campaigns around Martina Navratilova, the gay tennis star, and also used a sales slogan that was a subtle gay-rights message: “It’s not a choice. It’s the way we’re built.” Little wonder that many lesbians refer to their Outbacks as “Lesbarus.”
I could’ve been a lesbian trapped in a male driver’s body. Butch, I think.