Meet Giselle [jih-zel]

I know as much about cars as some people know about birds. Sure, I still can distinguish a rather fancy high speed bolide from four-wheels-that-are-just-four-wheels. Like some people manage to call some birds not just birds, but ducks or eagles. My point: I didn’t care much about the car we would allow into our rural life; I was happy with anything that would be able to conquer the driveway in the deepest of winters. Because one thing is for sure: you need a car in the countryside, and it needs to be a sturdy one.

Giselle looks like a femme, especially when parked next to all the jeeps and trucks on the parking lot of a random Catskills hardware store, it seems as if they has just rolled down NY Fashion Week’s runway. That’s why they is called Giselle. They, because Giselle identifies as non-binary. But as we all know, appearances are deceptive. As a Subaru, Giselle loves dirt roads, jumps over potholes and doesn’t mind to take a squeaky, violent U-turn on a gravel road, hitting what or whoever is around with small rock particles. We love Giselle.

Giselle. They/Them/Their

Giselle also seems to love us, by saving us so far from any tickets or accidents—knock some wood. This said, their love doesn’t go beyond platonic affection. Although we still couldn’t figure out their metallic preferences, we do know that Giselle receives a lot of attention from human beings that define themselves as LGBTTQQIAAP; especially the ones that identify themselves as the first letter in that abbreviation.

In the early nineties, Subaru’s marketing team found out that their cars were popular among lesbians for their dependability and size; they also detected that this unexpected core group would even consider choosing a Subaru because of the name Subaru. Lesbians were four times more likely than the average consumer to buy a Subaru; even so much that people started talking about Lesbarus. Sure, people joke about lesbians’ affinity for Subarus, but what’s often forgotten is that Subaru actively decided to cultivate its image as a car for lesbians. You might take this marketing strategy for granted nowadays, but it was definitely a novelty in the nineties. Fortunately, Subaru was brave enough to take the risk, and it paid off.

When we signed the lease on Giselle, we had no idea about their preferred audience. We just liked them and we are grateful that they accepted us straight away. We even have to tame our love for them, at least if we don’t want our allowed mileage to be consumed already one year ahead of time. So far, Giselle guided us safely through ten different states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, West-Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee. Soon we plan to conquer New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont together.

You can click on the read below if you want to learn more on Subaru’s highly progressive ad campaign in the nineties.

How Subarus Came to Be Seen as Cars for Lesbians, The Atlantic, June 22, 2016.

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