‘Fagbug’ documentary hits NIU


DVD box art for the documentary ‘Fagbug’ that chronicles Erin Davies journey across America in her car, which was vandalized with homophobic slurs. ‘Fagbug’ will be shown at NIU tonight at 7 p.m.

By Jerene-Elise Nall

Here comes the Fagbug.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center, United Campus Ministries, and the Lutheran Campus Ministry will host Find the Fagbug, an event and documentary screening going on today at NIU as part of LGBT History Month.

The Fagbug, as it has affectionately been deemed, is a grey VW Beetle that was vandalized with offensive, homophobic graffiti in red spray paint. Instead of seeing the graffiti as an insult, Fagbug owner Erin Davies saw it as an opportunity to promote LGBT awareness. She made a trip across the country in the Fagbug and filmed the various reactions to her vehicle, which she released in a documentary in July. The car was eventually transformed into the rainbow-striped car students will see on campus today.

Davies’ NIU stop will also feature a screening of Fagbug tonight at 7 p.m. in the Neptune residence hall.

What started as a hate crime ended up becoming a highly visible symbol of the gay community.

“Being a victim of a hate crime, [Davies] decided to turn it around and make it a positive message about awareness and homophobia,” said Patricia Liberty Baczek of the resource center. “Davies turned something ugly and mean-spirited into a work of art that now has the opposite of the effect intended by the vandals, which brings a sense of justice to the gay community.”

“[Davies] will be there with her car and some pictures on display of her trip across the United States, filming other victims of hate crimes as well as people’s responses to her driving a car that says ‘fag’ and ‘u r gay’ across the country,” Baczek said.

Campus Ministries has gotten involved in hosting this event as well, showing their ongoing support for NIU’s LGBT community.

“We are allies of the LGBT students at NIU,” said Rev. Dawn Jones of Campus Ministries. “LCM and UCM are the only Christian campus ministry group at NIU which affirms that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people are blessed by their sexuality and loved by God just as their are. We provide a safe and welcoming space for LGBT students on their spiritual journey.”

Campus Ministries is aware of the stereotypes that surround the Christian church and their position on sexuality, and are taking steps to break said stereotypes.

“You may be surprised to learn that there are Christians who love our LGBT brothers and sisters just as they are,” said Jones. “UCM/LCM has a number of LGBT students and young adults who are part of our faith community. Three progressive Christian denominations (ELCA, Episcopal and United Church of Christ) all ordain LGBT people as clergy to be ministers and pastors within the church.”

With the help of NIU’s LGBT Resource Center and Campus Ministries and individuals like Davies, changes may be in store for NIU’s LGBT community and perhaps for the LGBT community beyond campus.

“Maybe that word won’t mean what it’s meant for generations. Maybe she can begin the reinvention of terminology in the homophobic world,” said Baczek. “We hope that this can raise some awareness and bring more dialogue to the NIU community. People should turn out to find out more.”

Come find the Fagbug, which will be on campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.