Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-10-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MOMBIAN Baby, I can drive your car
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Dana Rudolph
2013-08-26

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


"Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet" goes the old ad jingle. I therefore felt rather all-American on a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest to test drive the Chevy Volt as part of the iconic brand's outreach to the LGBT community.

Chevy's parent company, General Motors, has been marketing to the LGBT community for nearly 20 years. GM's Saturn brand ran its first ad in a national LGBT magazine in 1995, and since then, most of its brands have sponsored events or advertised in LGBT media, said Joe LaMuraglia, GM's LGBT Communications Manager, in an e-mail to me.

Many large corporations have mostly targeted young gay men in their LGBT marketing efforts, but LaMuraglia said, "We want to reach all facets of the LGBT community. Lesbians and parents (and lesbian parents!) are very important to our outreach and we are striving to find new and unique ways to communicate to these segments of the community."

Chevy therefore invited myself, my spouse and our son to be among the gay and lesbian journalists and their guests to join them on a media drive from Seattle, Washington to Vancouver, British Columbia. They flew us to Seattle, fed us, housed us and gave each a day to drive at our leisure to Vancouver in a 2013 Volt. Driving straight through (or rather, "gaily through") from city to city would have taken about two and a half hours, but my family and I chose to take a scenic route and see the sites along the coastal Chuckanut Drive.

We wound our way past misty islands, stopping for freshly caught oysters that our 10-year-old son gamely tried and decided, "Never again." We explored tide pools and discovered purple starfish, tiny crabs, and green bottle glass worn smooth by the sea.

After all that natural beauty, it felt strange to get back into the high-tech Volt, until I reminded myself that the key selling point of electric cars is that they just might help preserve our environment (although I see them as but one component in what must be a much larger program of action).

The Volt is a compact car, but felt sufficiently roomy for two women, a tall-ish boy, and our luggage, even on a long trip. It handled nimbly, especially in Sport mode, merging briskly onto the highway portions of our trip and taking the Chuckanut Drive's many tight twists and turns with ease. It did not have that tinny, carnival-ride feel that some small cars do—and it has a 5-Star Overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Our son's appraisal from the back seat was that he had plenty of room, lots of light from the glass hatch behind him, and sufficient entertainment from the audiobook I'd downloaded onto my phone and played via Bluetooth over the car's speakers. He was a little bummed the fancy infotainment display couldn't run Minecraft, his favorite computer game, but we told him life is full of disappointments.

The Volt has an all-electric engine, but uses a gasoline-powered generator to recharge the batteries if they run out while the car is on the road. Because of this, Chevy differentiates it from a hybrid, since other cars labeled "hybrids" have two engines, an electric and a conventional-fuel one. One of the benefits of an electric engine, as opposed to a conventional one, is that it has full torque at start-up, making it quick to accelerate from a full stop. That means the Volt combines the zippiness of an always-electric engine with the security of a gasoline backup if the battery drains. It has an initial electric range of 38 miles, at which point the gas generator seamlessly kicks in to provide electricity for up to 380 total miles without plugging in or refueling.

At the push of the start button, the engine comes to life with a startling silence. The most noticeable signs that it is on are the two full-color displays on the dash, which provide a wealth of information, including details on battery charge, energy recapture from braking, and how energy efficient one's driving is. It felt a little like being thrust into a video game, but after a bit of driving, and (while my spouse drove) reading through the manual to learn what the various icons meant, I got more used to it.

Parents hoping to convey an environmental sensitivity to their children may even welcome the fact that kids in the back seat can view the car's energy stats from the display in the middle of the front dash. (And they can probably learn a great deal of science and math if you hand them the manual and have them figure it all out for you—then ask them to give you a monthly breakdown of your savings and how many pizzas that translates into.)

Right-wing organizations sometimes imply that supporting LGBT equality is un-American. If an all-American brand like Chevy is marketing to the LGBT community, however, that's one more piece of evidence that those groups have lost the argument.

The market for electric cars and hybrids is still young, but the Volt is a strong contender for anyone considering one. And there's plenty of room—and reason—for a rainbow sticker on its bumper. Just don't get crumbs from your apple pie on the seats.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian (mombian.com ), an award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBT parents.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Fighting transphobia 2017-10-18 - A lot of people believe that being completely open with your significant other is an important part of any relationship, but to what ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Welcome 2017-10-11 - My name is Toni Marie Preston. I am a Black, queer, trans femme with sickle cell disease. I'm also currently a senior sociology ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL Happy hours 2017-10-11 - One day, out of the blue, I received an email from well-respected writer Renee Bess. In her thoughtful, elegant style, she asked if ...


Gay News

LETTERS Cappleman support 2017-10-04 - Dear Ald. Cappleman, I hope this note finds both you and your partner in good health. In the past we have had ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Showcasing images, experiences of people with LGBTQ parents 2017-10-04 - Award-winning photographer Gabriela Herman knew that for her new book, The Kids: The Children of LGBTQ Parents in the USA, "the images would ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY MONTH The musical 'Gypsy' is LGBT history? 2017-10-03 - LGBT history can be found in every aspect of our lives. Sometimes it just comes as a surprise to learn that something, or ...


Gay News

Why is 'transface' still a thing in Hollywood? 2017-09-27 - "Let's give them the representation they deserve, but let's not actually include them in it!" This seems to be the twisted mantra that ...


Gay News

LETTER Banning the ban 2017-09-27 - Dear editor: What happened in Charlottesville runs contrary to this nations core values. Whether Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian or socialist, all reasonable ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN New guide offers advice for and from LGBT parents 2017-09-27 - As an LGBTQ parent, I sometimes feel like I've had to make things up as I go along. But Pride and Joy: ...


Gay News

LETTER Bi the way 2017-09-20 - Dear editor: This is an open letter to the entire LGBTQ community on behalf of all bisexual and bi-curious MEN and our ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.