Fagbug is a Volkswagen New Beetle owned by Erin Davies of Syracuse, New York who, in response to graffiti on her car, embarked on a trans-American road trip to raise awareness of LGBT rights.
On April 18, 2007, 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. Erin's 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.
The Fagbug has a sequel documentary made about its quest to reach all 50 states. The sequel is titled, "Fagbug Nation." "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 leis'd in Hawaii and drives through the midnight sun to Alaska, but first makes a pit stop at the Equality House in Topeka, Kansas.
- Berk, Brett (February 28, 2010). "The Heartwarming Story of Fagbug". VF Daily. Stick Shift, The Gay Car Blog. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
- Raymundo, Oscar (December 19, 2007). "Driven to Spread Awareness". Current Project for Student Journalism. (Newsweek). Retrieved February 28, 2010.[dead link]
- Stewart, Alison (January 16, 2008). "The Adventures of a Car Named 'Fagbug'". Bryant Park Project. (National Public Radio). Retrieved August 10, 2009.
- Parry, Marc (May 1, 2007). "An act of hatred backfires". Times Union. (timesunion.com). Retrieved August 10, 2009.[dead link]
- Kroll, Morgan (June 19, 2007). "Meet the bloggers: Erin Davies". The Advocate. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
- Smith, K.M. (September 1, 2007). "Activist Debuts the FagBug" (PDF). Curve. (fagbug.com). Retrieved February 28, 2010.
- Jubie, Ken (April 22, 2008). ""Fagbug" turns hate into inspiration". Capital News 9. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
- Kusner, Daniel A. "Erin Davies’ Pride Ride". Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Fagbug at the Internet Movie Database
- Erin Davies Radio Interview, National Public Radio
- Erin Davies Video Interview, Syracuse.com
- Dear Vandal, The Huffington Post
- The Fagbug Reaches All 50 States, The Huffington Post
- Fagbug Filmmaker Is Driven To Fight Intolerance And So Is Her Car, Lexington Herald-Leader
- Fagbug Car Sparks Controversy At High School, Journal Gazette
- Fagbug Vandalized Again, Vanity Fair