Adam Barrera – Auto Journalist and Photographer

Adam Barrera -

Name: Adam Barrera

Place of Birth:Corpus Christi, Texas
Age: 23
Year, Make and Model of Your first car/truck: Stealsoul is a ’97 Honda Civic sedan, bought with 145,000 miles… she’s at about 230,000 now, and still hits the autocross track every month.
Occupation: : Automotive journalist, photographer & videographer
Employer: I’ve anchored the New York International Auto Show for ExpoTV, covered auto news for, and written car culture commentary for My site,, uses funds generated by that contract work to experiment with emerging digital video technology.
What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up? From near-birth, I wanted to start my own car company. In high school, I realized the market was over-saturated, so I decided on auto writing.
How long have you worked in the auto industry? Ask my mom… I’ve been an industry analyst since my first issue of Motor Trend arrived in November 1989 at the age of four. I started an “automotive prose” blog at 16, and began writing hard automotive news for the University of Houston’s Daily Cougar in 2004.
What do you drive now? I’ll never sell my first car, and now she has an identical twin: another ’97 Civic sedan. This one is keeping its interior.
Are you out at work? I am now! If anyone asks, I can’t lie. I feel a story comin’ on…
Was being gay ever an issue at any of your jobs? Once upon a drive, two PR reps from an unnamed manufacturer kept asking why I didn’t have a girlfriend. One finally asked outright if I was gay. I quickly answered no, and then reflexively corrected myself. At that moment, the freeway came to a standstill, and I had to listen to an hour’s worth of “you need the Scriptures to save you from Hell.” They worked for a “gay-friendly” manufacturer, and I could’ve “blown the whistle” – but why put their spouses and kids on ice? Neither rep works in my region anymore, but I still haven’t received a vehicle for evaluation from that company to this day.
If so, how did you deal with it? I had the worst stomachache imaginable at the time, but I had several straight allies at that event who gave their support.
If you had one piece of advice to give to a gay person wanting to work in the auto industry, what would it be? It’s smart to allow trends to influence your work, but always couple new ideas with classic values – clarity of information, honesty of purpose, and respect for car buyers.
Ok, here is the fun part; if you had $25,000 and had to buy a new car, what would it be and why? The Suzuki SX4 is today’s closest descendant of the light, fun Japanese subcompacts of the 1990s – and it has the nicest shift quality this side of an ’86 MR2. It’s too bad Suzuki hasn’t yet made it onto the gay-friendly manufacturers list. I’d make that a condition of the sale… and I hope they’d bend!

Same question but bigger budget; $50,000:
A Camaro RS/SS Convertible. Flatly. Hugger Orange, please.
If money was no object and you had to drive it every day:
Keep your brand cachet and your pretense. Chevy ZR1, baby. OnStar, XM, heads-up display, 25 mpg, and a Nurburgring record. I’d rev at everyone I saw just to keep people inspired.
What is your favorite car of all time and why?
The Ford Airstream concept was wanderlust rendered in metal. That innocence – of westering, of exploration – is often absent from today’s commodity cars. The Airstream inspired me to look to the future without abandoning classic ideals.
If your car/truck could talk, what would it say about you?
She’s such a masochist. We just started rallycrossing… she’d either ask for a set of skidplates or say, “I can’t lose any more weight!”
Finally, why do you want to be featured on I’m gonna let Mom Google my name and let Gaywheels do the tough work for me! Just kidding. I hope young enthusiasts read this and realize that there is a place for them in automotive. Social barriers are no match for passion, creativity, and hard work. There are tons of gay professionals and straight allies that want to work with you to save car culture.