March 10, 2014
Erin Davies brought her “Fagbug” to FM’s campus this week to evoke a dialogue with the students about homophobia. Taken from her website, Davies was victim to a hate crime in Albany, New York. Because of sporting a rainbow sticker on her VW Beetle, Davies’ car was vandalized, left with the words “fag” and “u r gay” placed on the driver’s side window and hood of her car. Despite initial shock and embarrassment, Davies decided to embrace what happened by leaving the graffiti on her car. She took her car, now known worldwide as the “fagbug,” on a 58-day trip around the U.S. and Canada. After driving the fagbug for one year, Davies decided to give her car a makeover (as currently seen in the photo).
“She could have closed down and hid from life, but she didn’t. Instead, she is helping to rid the hate by killing the negative connotations of the word fag,” says FM student Andy Haag, an openly gay man. “The fagbug is a learning tool. It is not meant to be offensive. I was told that the parent of a gay student on-campus was extremely offended by it (the car). This parent should understand that Davies is spreading the message that ‘you’re not hurting anybody by using the word fag.’ You know the saying ‘sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me?’ This is Davies’ message to those who use the word fag. It will never be offensive to me anymore and it shouldn’t be to any person, gay or straight.”
Haag talked about the hardships he’s been through because he is gay. He, too, could have closed down at times but he refused to do so. “The people who harass homosexuals do it because they are scared,” says Haag. “People tend to hate things they don’t understand. They don’t want to believe that we are normal people, but we are. There are people in Congress, the NBA, the NFL, so many public figures who have come out as gay. We have a President who supports us. The winds of change are coming, but we still have a long way to go. There are still so many haters. To me, hate is an action. It can be physical, but in my eyes, verbal and mental hate is worse. What Erin Davies is doing is killing the verbal harassment.”
Haag says he will never hold hate in his heart because he has seen too much of it. “I love people simply for who they are, even if I haven’t met them or don’t really know them,” he says. “It surprises people to hear that my mom is a minister and yet she still loves and supports me. She accepts me for who I am. She tells me I am wonderful and smart; I’d like to be able to tell anyone who needs to hear that. Hate is unacceptable to me.”
Haag says there is going to be a day when there will be no need for a G.L.O.W. (Gay, Lesbian, or Otherwise) Club on college campuses or L.G.B.T. (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) activists and support groups. “I hope this day comes in my lifetime and I will be able to say I lived through the most amazing era in history; a time of acceptance.”