Is The BMW 7-Series The Gayest Car In LA?

Our pal Brett Berk has long held that there are “gay cars”, and we tend to agree — though with certain caveats.

Frankly, we believe that when you talk about “gay cars”, you have to talk about gay communities. Think of it like fashion: today’s twinks enjoy jorts and baggy tank-tops. Go to a bear bash, though, and you may well drown in a sea of cargo shorts. A-Listers like anything with a label (so long as it’s visible and says “Marc Jacobs”), and babydykes typically aim for simple, sporty attire, with a pop of color on their jogging shoes.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to those rules — twinks who wear cargo shorts, bears who wear shirts — but there’s some truth in them, too. In fact, the entire field of demographics is devoted to mapping such trends. Heck, if there weren’t similarities among communities, the very foundation of marketing would collapse like so many popped collars during a humid Sunday tea dance.

Similarly, certain gay communities seem to prefer certain cars. The leather-and-Levis set loves a good truck; butch gals enjoy anything with 4×4, and for reasons yet to be explained, bears adore the tiniest of cars, like the MINI Cooper and the Mazda Miata. (This bodes well for the Fiat 500, no?)

And so, we weren’t really surprised yesterday when someone suggested that the BMW 7-Series is the unofficial gay car of Los Angeles. After all, communities can be tied to geography just as easily as body type, so it makes sense that LA’s up-and-commers would be drawn to the sleek, high-profile elegance of the 7-Series.

Disagree? LA friends: feel free to weigh in on the BMW phenomenon, either in the comments below, on Twitter, or on our Facebook page. And wherever you are, let us know if you’ve spotted some trends we might’ve missed. We’ve been a little too preoccupied tidying up our VW Beetles to keep track.

About Richard Read

Richard Read covers a range of topics including LGBT issues, advertising, technology, pop culture, and, of course, cars, for Gaywheels, The Car Connection, Green Car Reports, Motor Authority, and other publications. Previously, he's written for Gawker, Fodors, and many other outlets, both on the web and in print. In his spare time, Richard is a marketing consultant, with a focus on small businesses and nonprofits. Born in Laurel, Mississippi, he holds degrees from Millsaps College, Tulane University, and the University of New Orleans. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana with his husband and four mostly well-behaved hounds.
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  • http://acarisnotarefrigerator.com Todd Bianco

    I’ve lived in LA all my life and I wouldn’t pick the BMW 7 as a “gay car.” If you’re talking about sheer volume, you’d have to go with a BMW 3-series or Audi A4 (sedans, coupes and convertibles) and the Mercedes C-Class. The leases of these cars are so vented that almost anyone with a job can afford one.

    Further down the ladder, perhaps a VW Jetta or Golf. And in the last 5 years, I’d have to say that the ultimate non-driver’s car, the Toyota Prius, has sucked up much of the gay market. There are still the Jeep Wrangler people (even if the suspension is the modern version of the Spanish Inquisition) and some Mazda MX-5/BMW Z4/MBZ SLKs.

    My unofficial sense is that gay men prefer the BMW 7-series to the Mercedes S-Class, but not by leaps and bounds. If I drive through Beverly Hills or Century City, I’d say that both are popular with the rich white men club, regardless of sexual orientation. Something you may have overlooked is the Range Rover Sport – the favorite car of gay realtors (and there are A LOT of gay realtors in LA), even if it is running on the cheap LR3 platform, not the Range Rover platform. I also see plenty of Range Rovers (the real ones) in the gym parking lot.

    The MINI is also extremely popular with “the gays.” I had one (a Clubman S) and absolutely hated it; but I’ve seen countless MINI Countrymans running around and almost all of them are driven by gay men. What does that tell us?

  • DCtechguy

    @Todd – I am experiencing my second transplantation from the East Coast to Los Angeles, and could not agree more with your assessment. In DC, from where I hail, the BMW 3 and 5 series, Audi 4 and 7′s, and Jeep Wranglers dominate, with ongoing engagement with the Volkswagens. For the less affluent, Mazda MX5 and Acuras along with Mini’s are popular. But the BMW 7′s are for the more affluent and mature crowd.

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  • http://WebsiteURL Spence

    I’m a gay dude who is leaving LA for Amsterdam and leaving my truck for a bicycle. But after years of observing gays in LA and their cars, I’d have to say that the only real rule of thumb is that gay dudes are slightly more into “masculine” vehicles. If I was going to pick a gay male car, I’d say the F-150 Raptor. I also know a lot of gay folks with green cars, but I’d ascribe that to the circles I travel in politically. Sorry, don’t know any 7 series owners, but I don’t live on the West Side and thus have a lower douchebag exposure in my life.

  • Robb

    well I’m gay (big deal) and BWM would be my last choice. My Volvo S90 was purchased 8/97 and has 153k on it so it’s about due for the junkyard heaven. It will be replaced with the Audi A6 maybe an A8. Just saying …

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  • WasThere

    Sorry….the gayest car remains and will always be the the 1977 Jeep CJ7…it was the very first official gay transportation vehicle adopted universally by residents of West LA. in the late 70s and early 80s.