April 7, 2015
The “Fagbug” – the name of Erin Davies’ VW Beetle, which was vandalized in a hate crime in Albany, N.Y., eight years ago – visits the Johnson State College campus for Pride Week on Thursday, April 16. The rainbow-colored car will be parked on the JSC Quad from noon to 3 p.m. Davies will tell her story and answer questions at 7 p.m. in 207 Bentley Hall.
A then-graduate student, Davies had parked her car on an Albany street in April 2007 on the 11th Annual National Day of Silence. Activists observe the day each year to recognize the silencing effect of anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying and harassment in schools.
Someone scrawled “fag” and “U R Gay” on the driver’s side window and hood in reaction, she believes, to a small rainbow sticker affixed to her car. At first Davies was shocked, but then she decided to embrace what had happened by leaving the graffiti on her VW. She drove her car, now known affectionately worldwide as the “Fagbug,” on a 58-day trip around the United States and Canada. Along the way, Davies discovered other, more serious hate crimes. After a year, Erin decided to give her car a rainbow-themed makeover.
She now visits high schools, colleges, LGBT pride events and more locations to raise awareness about hate crimes and homophobia. The Fagbug’s visit to JSC highlights a week of Pride events April 13-17 including health screenings, lectures, a dance party and more.