This is not Mobile World Congress… I drive a car favourited by lesbians


A funny thing happened to me on the way to a Barcelona trade show this week when I was informed that the scruffy Subaru Outlook station wagon I drive is a favourite among Lesbians.

Naturally that is something that I thought I would never write and naturally I was loth to search for the term ‘Lesbians love Subarus’ on Google because for the rest of my life I would be served adverts on subjects that are not my core interest.

So I did what I used to do, told the story to people and waited for their reaction. So, the story goes that two, how can I put this, Lesbian-looking women hikers were weighing up my car in a Plumpton car park on Saturday in the same way that middle-aged men ogle up Lambourghinis.

I was surprised when my friend imparted this news to me and I duly brought it up over a dinner party that evening. Two of our guests had lived in Portland, Oregon for a decade and said that it was indeed true, lesbians loved Subarus… wow, a world I didn’t know about just opened up in front of me.

But I needed further proof and it was delivered to me at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. An American client guffawed when I told her I didn’t know about this world and went on to tell me that ‘Lezarus’ were the car of choice of… (no, I can’t say that word, what was I THINKING?!)… lesbians.

Well, now I know, and the purchase of a car more suited to my blinkered, limited, male middle-age may be fast-forwarded and it may not, but it only goes to show there’s a whole world going on out there that is completely different to the one we are inured to. Check on Google yourself if you don’t believe me… or if you dare.

So it was with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It was my first visit for four years and there seemed little change. Out of almost 70,000 delegates I did see about 200 women, about ten black people and the odd lesbian, no real change on 2008, but there was a subtle move away from the mobile world I knew.

Where was this? At the parties and hotels of course. Previously corporate junkets and the hotels to be seen in were obvious, full of licquor (and, I hear, fast drugs) and a bit dirty.

This time, things were different. I finally met somebody at a mobile show that worked for Apple and the Omm Hotel and Google/Android parties were full of young, smart people AND VCs. Let’s just say in the right places it felt more like San Francisco than Barcelona… and that’s no bad thing.

Another difference I would highlight was the lack of Segways and the preponderance of Spanish theatrical troupes on stilts. I’m quite fond of a Segway, but not a greasepainted idiot screaming and barring my way. It’s a mobile trade show, not f*cking Pan’s Labyrinth, do you know what I mean?

Anyway, it’s good to be home and my ‘Lezaru’ is safely parked downstairs in the office car-park, away from the prying eyes of those who would put hands on my vehicle and fetishise it… actually not the worst thought I’ve had this morning.

Monty (632 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.