Everyone I know loves the yummy Porsche Cayman. And nearly everyone I know loves convertibles, especially in sunny South Florida. So it’s confounding to me that people do not love the Cayman roadster. It’s probably because—and only because—it’s called the Boxster, which was once regarded as the “poor man’s Carrera.” And no one—especially we image conscious gays—want to be seen in a poor man’s anything.

Thing is, over the last 15 years, the Boxster has grown into its own extraordinary performance machine that anyone should be proud to own—even in base form, like the model that just spent the week in my hands. With a delightful manual transmission and but a few options, including navigation, Bose audio, 19-inch wheels and body color seat belts, the Boxster is simple, uncomplicated and visceral, yet doesn’t feel like a stripped down Daihatsu. You gotta shift a lot to squeeze performance out of the somewhat modest six-cylinder engine, but that’s OK, since it sounds fabulous. Besides, there’s something innately satisfying about working a stick…ahem. And like every Porsche, the Boxster handles with gorgeous precision. Add in the practicality of two trunks, and the Boxster is near perfect. Except, that is, for its name.

2014 Porsche Boxster
Base Price (including destination): $52,395
Power: 2.7-liter six-cylinder (265 hp, 206 lb-ft of torque)
Tranny: 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic with manual shift mode
Fuel Economy, EPA city/hwy: 20/30 mpg (manual); 22/32 (auto)

Or you could buy:
Mercedes-Benz SLK
Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Renowned automotive journalist and gay car geek Steve Siler has turned his life-long love of cars into a fruitful and enthusiastic career traveling the world to test thousands of new vehicles as they are introduced. Siler is s regular contributor to Car and Driver Magazine, Edmunds.com,AutoTrader.com, AOL Autos and Yahoo! Autos, and also pioneered automotive writing for the LGBT community more than a decade ago.