Chief Gay Officer Leaves GM

Travis Parman - GM Northeast Region Communications and national LGBT media relations

I was asked to collaborate in a digital farewell to our favorite CGO (Chief Gay Officer) – Travis Parman – formally of GM. How could I say no? Travis is leaving the General after almost 11 years of service and we will miss him. He was an champion for reaching out the LGBT media and made sure sites like Gaywheels were included on events along with the mainstream outlets. One last thought; on Travis’ last day, GM also lost an executive on the Volt program and the Saturn sale to Penske fell through. Coincidence? You decide.

Eulogizing the CGO

by Brett Berk – Vanity Fair
Tear the lapel of your best pink blazer and say Kaddish, bitches. Travis Parman—General Motors’ East Coast Publicity Director and self-anointed C.G.O. (Chief Gay Officer)—has taken a buyout, and the world of automotive journalism will never be the same. I first met Travis through Ray Wert of Jalopnik, who suggested I contact him about what Ray delicately called the “alternative automotive media scene”, shortly after my big gay car blog Stick Shift went live on Vanity Fair. Travis got back to me immediately, letting me know I was already “on the General’s gaydar” and suggesting we meet for cocktails. “How’s tomorrow?”
Thus began a connection between me and our ailing #1 domestic manufacturer that was based equally in Travis’ monomaniacal drive to do his job, Travis’ monomaniacal drive to see his own name in print, and some truly excellent American automobiles. G.M. products appeared often enough in my column to prompt a sexy, automotive P.R. girl to once ask me, “Who is Travis Parman blowing to get so much coverage in Vanity Fair?”
Straight people are preternaturally obsessed with the amount of oral gay guys get, but Travis was just doing whatever he needed to get his cars in print. (For the record, he never blew me.) “With Travis,” Joe LaMuraglia, Editor in Chief of, likewise wrote me, “one could always count on the beer to be low carb, the car to be hot, and the ‘help’ at his events to be hotter.”
Parman even managed to work his fairy dust magic at Jalopnik. Though he was once observed by Wert committing a cardinal El Jalop sin, “pulling up to the Gawker office in a Camaro SS, trailing the smell of clutch smoke in his wake” he still managed to eek out what Ray called a “closed-mouth man-kiss” at a New Year’s party in the Alpena, Michigan lodge he shares with his partner. (Travis, not Wert. Wert’s house Up North is in Saugatuck, natch.)
Travis spent his last year with the General in New York, fulfilling a lifelong dream for a boy from the Southern sticks. Here, he was finally free to pursue his core, and interrelated, obsessions: the gym, his personal trainer, his hair, and CNN silver weasel Andersen Cooper. The City and its car fanatics will be one queen short of a full house now that he’s gone.

Travis Parman - Chief Gay Officer