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Your Lamborghini, Or Mine?

By |2015-10-15T09:00:00-04:00October 15th, 2015|Automotive, Guides|

It wasn’t too long ago that the right-wing American Family Association — known for getting its membership to boycott groups, organizations and products — targeted Ford Motor Company for running 2005 Land Rover and Jaguar sales ads in The Advocate.
Ford reluctantly gave in, and for a time left the LGBT market alone. Since then several automotive companies, including VW and Audi, are including the rainbow market in important advertising strategies.
Outstanding among these is Subaru of America, basing it marketing on its own initiated extensive research of gay and lesbian automotive preferences of style, color choices, driving performance and actual user feedback.
As a result, the company continues to show marked LGBT profit gains, and garners LGBT buyer loyalty and support.
(Lesbians take note: Subaru Research finds that “lesbians are four times as likely as other heterosexuals counterparts to own a Subaru Outback No. 1.”)
Shortly after the AFA Ford boycott, the New York Times commented on increasing automotive trends catering to our community in its groundbreaking automotive article, “Gay by Design or a Lifestyle Choice.”
The Times piece, dated 2007, reports what is perhaps by now stating the obvious: “Cars are no more straight or gay than cellphones, office chairs or weed whackers. But in recent years that truism has not stopped a perception among motorists that certain cars can, in the right context, be statements about a driver’s sexual orientation.”
Says Ramone Johnson, former Saturn engineer and a respected gay automotive journalist, who writes a yearly column “Top 10 Gay Cars” (About.com), says, “Driving a stylish car can be a way of taking control back and saying, ‘This is who I am.'”
He finds in his experience what he feels a gay man looks for in buying a car: soft lines, vibrant personality, fashion-forward red gauges and other styling cues.
A catalyst for monitoring and aiding automotive companies to understand and accommodate LGBT requirements in car choices and same-sex needs is Gaywheels.com. It’s been around since 2005, compiled by automotive specialist Joe LaMuraglia. (Joe drives a Mini Cooper convertible).
About Gaywheels he says, “We are dedicated to promoting responsive consumerism and affecting change by encouraging car shoppers to patronize gay-friendly companies throughout the vehicle purchase process.”
Gaywheels.com also provides key advocacy information about automotive companies that sustain fair treatment to LGBT employees and that provide requisite benefits for those in same-sex marriages. Covered also are automotive reviews, personal driver profiles and travel suggestions.
Thinking of retiring to Florida? A recent survey conducted by the South Florida Gay News lists these as its best-selling choices for enjoying sunny driving:
– Best Sports, Porsche Boxster $50K
– Best Luxury, Audi A7, $61K
– Best SUV, Jeep Grand Cherokee $29K
– Best Sedan, Mazda 6, $22K
– Best Economy, Ford Focus, $17K — in spite of the AFA!

About the Author:

Charles Alexander