The Flamingo Auto Group South (FAGS) is an inclusive auto group with a low barrier to entry. You don’t need to be a car collector, own any vintage cars, or even a car in general to join this group -- you just need to have a passion for cars.
“The group got started as a way for gay car enthusiasts in the area to have a venue for car shows and social functions with like-minded guys in a gay environment, free from any possible homophobia one might run into at a straight car show or event,” said Adam Walder, who has been president of the group since 2009.
FAGS is coming up on it’s 20th anniversary, which it will celebrate with a dinner in June 2020. The group is a regional chapter of the larger Lambda Car Club International, an extensive network of gay and lesbian car enthusiasts with a history spanning nearly four decades, with the original group, the Gay Old Car Owners Society, being founded in 1981.
The creation of the Flamingo Auto Group was somewhat in response to the reactions of mainstream auto clubs which historically have not been welcoming to the LGBT community. Many of the Flamingo Auto Group’s members also participate in mainstream groups however, and the group participates in larger car shows that are not specific to LGBT membership.
“The auto club landscape has definitely become more friendly to gays and lesbians over the past decade,” Walder said. “Most all of our members are also members of other clubs.”
According to Walder there are currently nearly 60 members and get around 25 to 30 attendees at their car shows. In the group’s history they have only ever had one female member, but Walder notes that the group has done a number of shows with lesbian groups and that FAGS is always open to women as much as it is to men.
“We are always looking for new members and are especially interested in younger members and what they may be able to bring to the table,” Walder said.
Alongside newer members, the Flamingo Auto Group will soon be getting new leadership. Walder is looking to retire from his position at the next election and pave the way for new leadership to take the wheel.
The group is always accepting membership on their Facebook page, , where they share updates on events, shows, and other club activities.
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