Living in Two Worlds

Cops

Cops at staging area

This past Sunday’s motorcycle ride underscored to me how I live in two worlds simultaneously, and easily flow from one to the other. What worlds? The “straight bikers” world, and the “gay bootman” world.

I gathered and rode with a large group of bikers who are cops, retired cops, or are in some way related to a law enforcement professional or work in the profession. We rode to join an event that is held around the same time as “Police Week” in Washington, DC. Motor officers from only seven (7) jurisdictions joined that ride this year, which was disappointing.

Anyway, I digress… what two worlds?

Cops at staging area

I make no secret that I am a gay man, but I do not wear a sign or fly a rainbow flag from my motorcycle. I know that most of the people who I ride with are straight. When interacting with them, I talk about topics of mutual interest, such as our motorcycles, development in the community, new or proposed laws, traffic, and so forth. Usual chit-chat. Occasionally something comes up where it is appropriate to talk about one’s spouse. While these guys often said, “my wife said this” or “my wife wants me to do that,” I would say, “My partner, he…” or “my partner had his mind set on…” and so forth. That is, what I said described that MY other half is a male.

No one said a thing. Either they didn’t notice how I was describing my relationship, they did not care, or if they did, they didn’t want to make an issue out of it. Fine… we have this peaceful understanding going on.

Boots at Law Ride

Nicely shined Dehner patrol boots

During the staging of this law enforcement motorcycle event, I happened to see my good friend Clockner, who I have had the pleasure to visit with each year when he comes to DC for Police Week. I didn’t know he was going to be there, so seeing him was a pleasant and happy surprise. I had a chance to visit with him for about an hour. He also introduced me to a friend of his who was there to take pictures. The three of us exchanged glances and made notes about certain things we were seeing — much like straight men talk about interesting-looking women, gay men talk about interesting-looking men, and gay “bootmen” talk about interesting-looking boots. Both Clockner and I are in committed, monogamous relationships with partners we have been with for decades. We don’t lust after the guys we talk about, much like my straight married friends do not lust about women they see.

New Honda Police Bike

Then up strolls one of my fellow riders, and my conversation shifts… from boots to bikes… from uniforms and a cute butt to a new style of Honda police motorcycle. It was this way all morning — talk about topics of mutual interest with my gay friends, and other topics of mutual interest with my straight friends.

View from my Harley of the ride

Same thing happened when we arrived at the destination after the ride was concluded. I walked over to the gathering area with my fellow (straight) riders, and we talked about the ride. Naturally. I then contacted someone who asked if I were going to be there, and found him quickly. Auxmccop from the “boots on line” board. Nice guy. I’m glad I had a chance to meet him face-to-face. He was there with a group, including some teens, so I could tell that he was being reserved about what he talked about. As he should — there are things you talk about privately and not within earshot of children. He is very much like me in the way he applies and uses discretion.

New NYPD Motor Breeches

He pointed out to me, for example, the new motor breeches worn by the NYPD — notice the blue and silver stripes. The silver is reflective, for better visibility at night.

Again, I was comfortable in both worlds. The “gay bootmen’s world” when meeting Auxmccop, and the “biker world” when hanging around with the guys I rode with.

Anyway, it was no big deal operating in both worlds, or with groups who have separate interests, and where I intersect with each is where we have interests in common — boots, bikes, and motorcops.

The photos that I took at the Law Ride 2012 are here.
and as an added treat, photos that clockner took at the same event are here.

Life is short: be comfortable in your own skin, and be who you are.

One thought on “Living in Two Worlds

  1. It was great to see you, too!

    I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make my annual trip this year, but I’m glad it worked out. A couple of days of good weather; making a few new friends and connecting with those, like you, I’ve known for a while; nice conversations; taking photos; and seeing more boots than I usually do–all in all, this has become one of my favorite annual vacations. It wouldn’t have been the same without seeing you.

    Cliff

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