April 7, 2014

Message car returns to area

Activist urges local audience to overcome fears,be true to self

PLATTSBURGH — Erin Davies made her second trip to Plattsburgh with her rainbow Volkswagen Beetle, this time to show her new documentary.

Her first documentary, “Fagbug,” chronicled her two-month trip across the country after the word “fag” had been anonymously spray-painted on her car while she was a graduate student living in Albany.

There had been a rainbow sticker on her VW that, she assumed, prompted the graffiti, which also included the message: “u r gay.”

She left the paint on the car and recorded reactions from others during her trip for her first film. 


Davies had reached only 48 states, though, so she made it her goal to travel to Alaska and Hawaii, a journey that is documented in the sequel, “Fagbug Nation,” which was shown recently by the Clinton Community College Equality Alliance in the Stafford Theater.

“I’ve never been so isolated in my life,” Davies told the audience at Clinton Community College about the drive through Alaska. “If my car broke down, I would’ve waited for two days (for help).”


The isolation wasn’t the scariest part of the trip, though, at least from her family’s standpoint. They worried about her speaking to complete strangers, but she said she was always aware of her surroundings. 

“For the most part, I believe in the good of the universe,” Davies said. “My project is not a fear-based project.”

She encouraged the audience last Monday to overcome fear. 

“If you act out of fear, you’ll prevent yourself from doing things and seeing what life has to offer,” Davies said. 


While creating the documentary, she interviewed people who approached her about the conspicuous car. 

“I think it’s magical when someone feels compelled to speak to a total stranger,” Davies said. 

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