COLUMBIA, TN — In today’s world of increased awareness regarding gender identity and dysphoria, we’ve learned to become more tolerant and understanding of queer people and their right to exist. Great strides have been made as we’ve come to accept that others are entitled to live their life without fear of reprisal—just the same as the rest of us.
Normalization of the gender spectrum now extends well past the human race, with the automotive industry challenging us to be more tolerant. This paradigm shift began last week, as controversy erupted when a 1994 Ford Explorer announced that it would now identify as a 2024 Chevy Equinox.
Area residents are surprised and baffled over this recent turn of events. While some are skeptical, others have accepted this decision as the further progression of acceptance and understanding in our society.
“I’ve never been comfortable being a Ford,” the former Explorer told us. “Being in the closet for so many years was frustrating. Back then, it was difficult because there were no options.”
“I’ve always felt like I was a Chevy, but the macho exterior of the Blazer and Suburban didn’t feel to my liking. When SUVs started becoming scaled-down and smaller, I felt like I could transition and be comfortable.”
“I hope my story can be a starting point for many vehicles that don’t feel comfortable in their own chassis.”
The road ahead for this former Explorer to transition into a Chevy Equinox will certainly be one of many challenges. The biggest hurdle appears to be acceptance among its peers and the local citizenry.
“It’s a bunch of hippie bullcrap,” said Chet Robbinson, a local mechanic. “If you were manufactured as a Ford, then a Ford is what you are!”
Others are more accepting. “If a vehicle wants to change its make and model, let it. It’s not hurting anyone,” said Annette Walker, a local resident. “Furthermore, it’s none of our business!”
Despite the misgivings of a few who feel threatened by the recent turn of events, the consensus among a great many people we talked to was positive. There will always be bigots, but both the ACLU and GLAAD have made it known that they plan on helping this former Explorer through its difficult time.
We spoke to a brand reassignment specialist who chronicled the transition process for us; as we assumed, the change will be lengthy.
First, the Explorer’s powertrains will be retrofitted into the chassis of a 2024 Chevy Equinox—but this is only the start. The engine will have to be modified to conform to the size of its new engine bay, and special alterations will have to be made to allow for the transmission to be properly installed.
It may take an exceptionally long time, but the former Explorer reminded us that this is a lifelong dream, and they’re willing to stick it out until the end.
While there’s a great deal of surprise and shock among the community, it’s important to remember that this is not a situation without precedent. In 1982, a Ford Bronco had a similar procedure performed on it when it was rebranded as a Toyota Land Cruiser.
While this case wasn’t as widely discussed at the time, due to the stigma, it’s important to remember that we as a society have always been witness to gender fluidity, whether we realized it or not. We should be willing to accept that the make and model of all vehicles exist on a spectrum and that it’s not a fixed concept.
We’ll keep you updated about this story as new details emerge.