Nina Smith

Gay Cars: Not that there’s anything wrong with that

Filed By Nina Smith | October 29, 2007 7:43 PM | comments

Filed in: Living

“The car has become… an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete.” – Marshall McLuhan

Several weekends ago as my partner and I picked up our rental car to drive out to the Berkshires, I laughed at seeing the Subaru sitting in the stall. Do straight people know that Subaru’s are considered lesbian cars?

Apparently so. According to The New York Times, Meghan Daum, my favorite op-ed contributor to The Los Angeles Times wrote a few years ago:

...about a promising first date with a man that never led to a second one because, she later learned, the guy saw that she drove a Subaru Outback station wagon and concluded she must be a lesbian.

When did a car become a declaration of a one’s sexual orientation? Even Tom and Ray at Car Talk have assembled their list of The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Cars. You can’t get any more hetero than Tom and Ray. But the gays weigh in too: publishes their list of gay-friendly car companies and Ramone Johnson who covers the Gay Life at compiles his “Best of” every year.

Why all the lists? And why are car companies using a stereotype for identity? Is it branding? Is it greed? Are they designing products specifically for queer buyers? And when you think about it, are cars really any different from jeans, coffee, or mobile phones? So what’s all the fuss about automobiles?

Personally, I don’t get it. Plus all the niche marketing seems to have backfired. Or at the very least wasted on me: the lesbian. This was duly noted when my partner asked if I’d ever consider buying one. As I kicked it into overdrive, the concern wasn’t: does this car make me look gay? But rather: does this car make me look fat? Mainstream marketers take note.

Zoom, zoom, zoom. What are your thoughts on gay cars?

Nina blogs about money over at Queercents.

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I had no idea that Cars had a sexual orientation. I wonder, will anyone try to "pray away the gay" and turn a VW Jetta into a Mercedes truck?

For the record, I drive a 17 year old Daihatsu Charade. Right hand drive, 3 cylinder. But then, I'm IS/TS.

Hmm, maybe there *is* something to this after all...

Silly, but effectively harmless. Sure, there's a bit of stereotyping, but at least it's good natured and playful. As to those who lose dates because of their car, good for them; what kind of a person is that which bases the possibility of a relationship on automotive aesthetic preferences, anyways?

Okay so we have one car a TS would drive Zoe you beat me to it.
I can see the new VW beetle being gay but not the old one.

Zoe and Sue: Thanks for making this post more inclusive with the TS thoughts. I'm sensing another list. Perhaps is already working on it.

Lucrece: Regarding those who lose dates over a car. It's not just a gay thing... I've know many straight women who judge potential dates on the basis of what car they drive. I recall one friend indicating that she really liked a new guy but couldn't get over the fact that he drove a Ford Taurus. In her mind it just wasn't good enough. She ended up marrying a guy that drove a Mercedes and he turned out to be a jerk.

And that friend paid for such frivolity by having someone treat her in kind. It was best for the guy she dumped that she dumped him; I still maintain that a relationship based on frivolity is a doomed one.

Also,I know it just doesn't apply to gay people ^~.