Fagbug Nation immediately addresses the possibly off-putting title by opening with a shot of a man saying he’s Jewish “and we would never drive, like, a kikebug.” Fagbug Nation is the sequel to the 2009 documentary Fagbug, and uses news footage about that first film to help explain the title. Erin Davies’ Volkswagen Beetle was vandalized in 2007, with someone writing “fag” and “U R gay” on it. She left the graffiti on the car “to show a visual example of what homophobia looks like to people who may never have experienced it,” she says. She took the car on a road trip, and that became the first film. She has since become a motivational speaker, telling her story in schools and businesses.
But she felt her road trip was unfinished, as she hadn’t reached Hawaii or Alaska. And so Fagbug Nation is about her efforts to complete that goal, including shipping the car by boat to Hawaii. It documents necessary car repairs, as well as things people have done to her car, like writing “Faggets Dikes Need to Die” on the window. And yes, she points out that the moron failed to spell either “faggots” or “dykes” correctly, an indication of the low level of intelligence possessed by bigots. She also reads notes that were left on her car, as well as emails she has received, and she films reactions of people in different cities. We see lots of folks taking photos of the car.
None of this, however, seems like enough to warrant a second film. Fortunately, the subject does broaden beyond just the car and Erin’s story to include stories from other gay and bisexual people, covering such topics as gay marriage and bullying. And these stories feel to be more at the heart of the matter. For example, there is the woman who talks about how her aunt got a restraining order against her in fear that her presence would turn her young cousins gay. And the footage of the young boy talking about suicide is heart-wrenching. And I like the rainbow house across the street from that hateful church.
There is also some interesting stuff from Erin’s own life, including footage and stills of her wedding. Erin’s story of being fired from a teaching position after revealing that she was gay is interesting and infuriating. Once she gets her car from Hawaii to Washington, the film becomes more of a road trip movie through Canada into Alaska. But really the film is about awareness for gay rights.
The DVD includes a music video for “P.S. Gay Car” by Fortress Of Attitude, as well as the film’s trailer.
Fagbug Nation was directed by Erin Davies, and was released on DVD on December 2, 2014 through Garden Thieves Pictures.