Tear the lapel of your best pink blazer and say Kaddish, bitches. Travis Parman - GM's East Coast Publicity Director and self-anointed C.G.O. (Chief Gay Officer) - has taken a buyout. The automotive journalism world will never be the same.
I first met Travis through your fearless leader, Sr. Wert, who suggested I contact him about what Ray delicately called the "alternative automotive media scene", shortly after my big gay car blog Stick Shift went live on Vanity Fair. Travis got back to me immediately, letting me know I was already "on the General's gaydar" and suggesting we meet for cocktails. "How's tomorrow?"
Thus began a connection between me and our ailing #1 domestic manufacturer that was based equally in Travis' monomaniacal drive to do his job, Travis' monomaniacal drive to see his own name in print, and some truly excellent American automobiles. G.M. products appeared often enough in my column to prompt a sexy automotive P.R. girl to once ask me, "Who is Travis Parman blowing to get so much coverage in Vanity Fair?"
Straight people are preternaturally obsessed with the amount of oral gay guys get, but Travis was just doing whatever he needed to get his cars in print. (For the record, he never blew me.) "With Travis," Joe LaMuraglia, Editor in Chief of gaywheels.com, likewise wrote me, "one could always count on the beer to be low carb, the car to be hot, and the ‘help' at his events to be hotter."
Parman even managed to work his fairy dust magic here at Jalopnik. Though he was once observed by Wert committing a cardinal El Jalop sin, "pulling up to the Gawker office in a Camaro SS, trailing the smell of clutch smoke in his wake" he still managed to eek out what Ray called a "closed-mouth man-kiss" at a New Year's party, in the Alpena, Michigan lodge he shares with his partner (Travis, not Wert. Wert's house Up North is in Saugatuck, natch). Parman was first introduced to Wert at the Indy 500 three years ago by Jalop alumn and current CarandDriver tech editor Mike Austin, beginning Jalopnik's sordid relationship with G.M.
Travis spent his last year with the General in New York, fulfilling a lifelong dream for a boy from the Southern sticks. Here, he was finally free to fully pursue his core obsessions: the gym, his personal trainer, his hair, and CNN silver weasel Andersen Cooper. The City and its car fanatics will be one queen short of a full house now that he's gone.
Brett Berk, a Michigan native, currently resides in New York and is the editor of Vanity Fair's "Stick Shift" gay car blog and is a friend of the Editor. Not like that. Not that there's anything wrong with that.