EIU Pride will present Erin Davies with “Fagbug” for a meet and greet from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Cultural Center.
Davies, an art education graduate student at Sage College of Albany, discovered her Volkswagen Beetle had been vandalized in Albany, N.Y., in 2007.
The phrases “fAg” and “ U R GAY” were spray painted on the driver’s side window and the hood of the car, all because of a rainbow sticker supporting equality.
Instead of washing the car, she now drives across country to speak on tolerance.
“There were moments when I wanted to see the car and give up,” Davies said. Regardless of the negativity, she continues to encourage others as her journey evolves.
Amanda Mead, the Pride social chair, organized the event.
“I hope this event brings to everyone’s attention that crimes like this do happen,” Mead said. “Someone took something as simple as an innocent rainbow sticker to an outrageous level of hatred.”
Davies is no stranger to negative and hateful people, but it is how she responds to them that will inspire students. She uses stories to make audiences laugh and shows people a humble person who is genuinely interested in hearing them out, she said.
“I hope that her journey inspires and touches students to see the affect that a hate crime, as such, can have on a person,” Mead said. She added that if one person in the audience changes their opinion of the LGBT community, then it will be a success.
While this event is open to all students, faculty and staff, Mead is looking to reach the education, sociology, family and consumer sciences, and psychology departments, she said. This is an opportunity to meet and speak with Davies on her experiences and see the Fagbug. Following her presentation, there will be a showing of her documentary, “Fagbug.”
Students will be able to see the notes Davies collected over the years and gain a better understanding of both the positive and negative aspects of her journey.
“Things like this happen all the time,” Mead said.
She said that she believes that the campus and community will benefit from this presentation.
“We will not stand for acts such as what happened to Erin,” Mead stated.
Davies said she hopes to encourage students to overcome their fears and go after their dreams, despite lack of money or personal fears.
“This presentation is to encourage people to be more comfortable with who they are, whoever they are,” Davies said.
Karlie Schoenbeck can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]