by Joe LaMuraglia
July 25, 2008 – I got an email forwarded to me this morning describing a new column on VanityFair.com called “Stick Shift – The Gay Car Blog”. My first reaction was puzzlement as Vanity Fair and columns about automobiles don’t reside in the same logic quandrant in my brain. Alas, having started this non-traditional business (Gaywheels.com) three years ago, I mustn’t be quick to judge.
After reading the introduction and viewing the accompanying graphic (see above), my confusion grew. How can someone write about a car’s sexuality on a weekly basis and what does it have to do with Vanity Fair? Can you say perpetuating stereotypes?
The author, Brett Berk, explains that the weekly column will “showcase specific Gay Cars, taking seemingly ordinary vehicles and revealing their underlying queerness. We won’t go after low-hanging fruit like Saturns or Subarus. Instead, we’ll focus on the obscure and the ambiguous: cars that emit the subtle semiotic signals that register on my GayCarDar.”
I’ve spent the past three years attempting to dispel stereotypes about any specific car being “gay”. I’m on record saying cars aren’t gay, their driver’s are. With that said, this is a free country and we are all allowed our opinions. Mr. Berk hasn’t posted any columns yet so I will have to wait to comment on his work. Clearly, he convinced someone at Vanity Fair that this was a good idea.
He does come with some credentials. From his first posting: “Well, I’m a fourth-generation Motor City native, and a born stick-shift hound—yearly pilgrimages to the Detroit Auto Show; book reports about obscure marques; Duesenberg-shaped Bar-Mitzvah cake; first car: ’73 BMW 2002.”
We’re curious to see where this will go. If the last line of his column is any indication, it is sure to be an interesting ride:
“So gas up, fasten your seatbelt, and get ready to suck some tailpipe. Gay Cars is go.”
You can see Stick Shift on VanityFair.com or by clicking HERE.