By Darren Johnson
Perhaps you have heard of the Fagbug. It is the rainbow painted Volkswagen that Erin Davies, of Syracuse, has been touring with for the past seven years, usually to college campuses, with her message of challenging homophobic bullies. She is setting up her Spring college tour schedule now and may be heading to your campus soon.
You may have also seen her film, named after her car, on Netflix. Please see the story on page 14 of this newspaper for our review.
After 300,000 miles and endless small repairs, the Fagbug finally got into an accident. It happened in her hometown and was totally her fault, she said. Still, her friends on Facebook rallied to raise the $6000 for the repair as Davies begins to do her spring college tours as well as launch the sequel to her four-star documentary. The new documentary is called “Fagbug Nation” and has already been well-received in early screenings on the West Coast.
Facebook followers know her trials and travails. She recently finished her 50-state tour, after a Kickstarter campaign, with trips to Alaska and even Hawaii. The crew on boat that took her car over thought she was crazy. She also was married this past fall to longtime partner Sonya Parrish.
It has been a busy year for Erin. But she and her famous car, after a hiccup, are still going strong. Below are some questions we had for her with her responses.
DJ: Is it too late for people to contribute to fix up your car?
ED: Yes, but if they follow me online, I will be setting up a new campaign which is about my sequel coming out in a couple of months titled “Fagbug Nation.” I’m launching a campaign to qualify it for the Oscars; to raise $50,000 to premiere the film in New York City and L.A. and qualify.
DJ: What happened in the accident? Insurance doesn’t cover that? Are you OK?
ED: I am fine. The car isn’t. The accident was my fault. After going all over the country and getting the car to Alaska and Hawaii, I would’ve expected this to happen another time; but never once have I been in an accident with the car, after all-nighters, back-to-back tours, endless driving, bad weather, etc. I was actually in front of the VW dealership in the parking lot heading there to get a new battery for my key because it died and my alarm kept going off on my way there. The key stopped working, and I couldn’t disable it. I got turned around in a dead end of the parking lot, was trying to find a connecting road, looked left for the connection for a few seconds and BAM! I hit a huge light post, and it tore apart the entire front end of my car; hood, power steering, bumper, lights, the whole front end has to be completely replaced. It bent the frame, ruined the vinyl.
I had full collision insurance on my car when I’d first bought it, and the year I drove with the graffiti and the first year I had the rainbow on it. However, I got pulled over eight times the first month with the rainbow decals. The “rainbow cops” love to give me a hard time because of it, so after over $2000 in tickets, literally for having “Fagbug” on my car, I ended up having to lower my insurance costs because it tripled, and I could no longer afford it.
Regardless, the $6000 it’s costing to fix it wouldn’t have been covered for this accident. It far exceeds the Bluebook value of my car. The car is 12 years old with nearly 300,000 miles on it.
DJ: Will you be hitting more campuses this spring?
ED: I’ve been touring full time for the past seven years, and this is what I do full time; so yes more speaking engagements. I have a booking agent who handles them. Her name is Monica, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The film, “Fagbug,” has a huge audience on Netflix. People watch it and book me and email me constantly. It does VERY well on there.
The next movie is “Fagbug Nation.” I did eight test screenings with audiences last semester, colleges mostly, and it got great feedback. It will most likely be coming out in May or June, depending on what happens with the fundraising for the Oscars. If I get the funding, I will be releasing it theatrically in L.A. and New York City first and then film festivals and other outlets, colleges, etc. The campaign I am launching has info on it regarding buying screening rights for colleges. It’s getting launched on my web site now.
Visit Erin on www.fagbug.com.