I knew there were such things as gay bars, but I didn’t know there were gay cars until I read an article that today’s Strib reprinted from the New York Times. Apparently certain cars are “known” to be vehicles of choice for gays: Subaru Outbacks for lesbians, for example, and Mazda Miatas and Volkswagon Bugs (among others) for the guys. Let me tell you, it certainly made me rethink the Disney movie classic “The Love Bug”! Do you think all along Herbie always had a thing for Dean Jones and not Michele Lee? Could the number “53” be some kind of code, maybe kind of like driving with just your left fog lamp on?
It just never occurred to me that a type of car could be “gay”, though there’s no doubt that we have long bought and marketed vehicles because of the kind of image they project, from “muscle” cars to minivans. Certainly there’s a kind of manly brawniness with some trucks and SUVs — perhaps someone is just overcompensating? Frankly, I would have been mystified that a certain look or certain features could be construed as gay — though I must admit that the new Dodge Nitro does look rather “butch.” I mean, what would you look for in a “gay” car: a liftback? Four-on-the-floor? A car that pulls to the left? A pick-up? And just what does the “PT” stand for in a PT Cruiser?
Let’s not even think about what a leather interior suggests! (Well, okay: Grand Marquis de Sade?)
Is this true for other lifestyles as well? Do certain vehicles have certain connotations? I suppose minivans are universally recognized and mocked for being the vehicles of choice for soccer moms, and there’s something about a Corvette that screams “mid-life crisis”, but if you see someone driving a Golf, would they necessarily have to be a golfer? Do all Prius’s come with a Wellstone! sticker as standard equipment? Do all bloggers have “Star Fleet Academy” lettering on the back window?
Is there such a thing as a “Christian” car? I know Dodge used to make a certain mid-sized car that I once thought might be kind of funny to own, if only so I could say, “Ok, kids — let’s get in the Spirit and drive to church!”
And please, somebody tell me: what were you thinking when you bought a Ford Probe?