Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Out on the Road: For Members of Lambda Car Club International, Their Cars Are Their Community

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Out on the Road: For Members of Lambda Car Club International, Their Cars Are Their Community

Article excerpt

Guy Kendall-Freas dreams about cars, about owning a late 1960s-era 12-cylinder powered Jaguar E-type roadster, and about racing down the road with his partner in their 1965 Mercedes-Benz 220 SEb coupe.

Doug Buhrer also dreams about cars--literally every night. "I'm pretty much car-crazy," the 47-year-old says. "I just love cars. It begins with the personal freedom, the idea that with a credit card and a car you can go anywhere on the continent. I can just pick up and go. Total freedom."

So maybe it's no surprise that when these men hear the words "gay community," they're more likely to picture themselves behind the wheel than behind the bar. And as two of the Lambda Car Club International's more than 1,800 members, they're much more more likely to be planning their vacations around car shows than circuit parties or Cher concerts. Most often seen parading their cars in pride festivals across the country, Lambda Car Club members also host annual invitationals and driving tours to celebrate their fascination with the automobile.

Kendall-Freas, 41, who joined the organization's Buckeye Region chapter in Ohio with his partner four years ago, says he wasn't sure what he was getting into at first. "What we found was a very eclectic group of guys who have very little in common other than an interest in cars," he says. "Today, these guys are valued friends." And now Kendall-Freas is president of the chapter.

Buhrer, who joined the Buckeye chapter hi 1987 and now publishes the Lambda Car Club International newsletter, says the group provides a forum to fuel his fondness for four-wheelers. That fascination, he says, goes all the way back to when he was 3, when he first laid his hands on a classic car, or at least a replica of one: a plastic 1953 Ford. "I remember thinking what a cool thing a ear is," he says, laughing. …

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