By Darla Shelden
On the 11th Annual National Day of Silence, a day of action that brings attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) bullying and harassment in schools, Erin Davies was victim to a hate crime In Albany, New York.
Davies’ VW Beetle was vandalized on April 18, 2007, with the words “fag” and “u r gay” painted on the driver’s side window and hood of her car because she had a rainbow sticker on the rear window.
On Sunday, April 7, Davies will present two screenings of her award winning documentary “Fagbug” about her experiences resulting for this incident at The Paramount OKC, 701 W. Sheridan, located on Oklahoma City’s historic film row.
A matinee for adults and children will be held at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for kids 18 years and under, $10 for adults, which include popcorn and water, tea or lemonade. Soft drinks and candy are available for $1 each.
The evening screening for adults only will be held at 6 p.m., admission $10. Soft drinks, wine, beer and snacks will be available for purchase.
The event is sponsored by The Paramount OKC, OKC Pride and the Skirvin Hilton Hotel.
Jeremy Crites, OKC Pride President said, “Fagbug is an excellent documentary film that highlights how LGBT individuals – or anyone who experiences harassment because they are different – can choose to be a human rights champion rather than a victim.
“This fun and empowering film is in line with the 2013 OKC Pride theme, ‘The New Normal.’ Once people get past the label and instead see the individual, they will realize that we have more in common than we are different,” added Crites.
Davies chose to embrace what happened to her by taking “Fagbug,” as it is now known worldwide, on a trans-American road trip – anti-gay graffiti intact – around the United States and Canada. She would record people’s reactions along the way in order to raise awareness about prejudices to the LGBT community.
Before leaving, Davies organized fundraising events to help pay for the trip and was also supported by her family, Volkswagen Group of America, as well as numerous individuals. She also sold Fagbug stickers along the way.
Davies and Fagbug participated in several gay pride parades during her journey.
On the one-year anniversary of Davies’ decision to make the cross-country trip, Volkswagen paid for the Fagbug’s transformation to its current attention-getting rainbow exterior.
“Erin took a bad situation and turned it in to an opportunity for education and hope,” said Helen Goulden, co-manager of The Paramount OKC. “We are very excited to bring her to Oklahoma City and share her story.”
Released in 2009, Fagbug has appeared in numerous festivals including the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival, 2009, Atlanta GLBT Film Festival 2009, and the Canada International Film Festival, 2009.
The film won sponsorships from VW America and the Sundance Film Festival, and was dubbed “best gay car movie of the year” by Vanity Fair magazine.
Davies says her life was changed forever because of another person’s decision to write four words on her 2002 Volkswagen Beetle. She is currently touring in her rainbow Fagbug, making presentations to schools and community groups throughout the country.
Crites added, “OKC Pride is very excited about greeting filmmaker Erin Davies and her Fagbug in Oklahoma City on Sunday, April 7, for two screenings at The Paramount film cafe in downtown OKC’s historic Film Row, which is also the site of this year’s family-friendly Pride Festival on Saturday, May 18.”
According to her website, Davies’ goal with Fagbug is to “raise awareness about hate crimes and homophobia, to give a voice for those who are silent, to inspire others to take a stand against bullies and to be an example of how to overcome obstacles in bringing creative projects to life.”
To make reservations for the youth matinee, call The Paramount, OKC at 405-720-6467, or email [email protected] To learn more about Erin’s story, visit www.fagbug.com.