Erin Davies, a victim of vandalism who had the word “fAg” spray-painted on her Volkswagen in Albany New York in 2007, chose to turn such a homophobic act into a statement that she would soon share with the nation and receive overwhelming acclaim instead of paying to remove it.
Fagbug and Davies’ work are known by many as “activism on wheels.” She and her car made a pit stop to CSUN on Wednesday, April 24, for a lecture and Q and A organized by the USU Pride Center.
“I hope that the campus community will learn more about the issues that the LGBTQ community faces, such as discrimination and hate crimes and that students will feel empowered and think creatively when negative situations arise,” said Sarina Loeb, USU Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives Coordinator.
Davies speaks on behalf of the LGBTQ community and sheds light on the daunting prevalence of hate crimes among this community throughout the United States and Canada.
“You can take in a negative experience and turn it into a positive, a setback could turn into an opportunity,” Davies said.
Since Davies began her journey with Fagbug, she has found both negative and positive notes on her windshield, but the positive ones outweigh the number of negative ones. She has been acknowledged by strangers as being an inspiration and a hero.
“I love that people take the time to write and leave notes. I don’t see myself as a hero, I just put myself out there to be visible and to educate people,” she said.
Davies hopes that people that she speaks to think twice before vandalizing other people’s property and teaches tolerance by denouncing hate crimes and acts of discrimination.
She has presented at over 50 conferences, universities, high schools and youth groups and dozens of radio and podcast shows.
“Her advocacy is unique because she became empowered by a negative experience and turned it into an opportunity to educate and bring light to issues that face our community,” Loeb said.