Average Married Booted Biker in the Burbs

rp_GayAm08122011.jpgSomeone noticed and asked me why the header image of this blog changed about a month ago. I was wondering if anyone would notice that it now says, “BHD’s Musings: The life and times of Booted Harleydude… Your average married booted biker in the ‘burbs.”

Anyone remember what it used to say?

The text in the image header of this blog used to say, “BHD’s Musings: The life and times of Booted Harleydude… Your average married gay biker in the ‘burbs.”

Someone wrote to me a week ago and asked if I removed the word “gay” from the header because I was ashamed or not proud or did not want to be “publicly out.” (His words.)

On the contrary…

Anyone who reads this blog or my about me page clearly sees that I am married to a man, so obviously, I am gay. I am a human male — a gay male — so admittedly, sometimes other men catch my eye. Just as an attractive woman catches a straight guy’s eye. But that’s it. I am married — end-of-story when it comes to attraction to others.

But being gay has never been a primary component of my life. Heck, I didn’t even know that I was gay until much later in life (age 23).

As I have said before, I lead a “lifestyle” of service… to my country in what I do for a living, to my family as a good brother- uncle -great uncle- cousin, to my senior pals I look after, and to my spouse in caregiving and love. But I do not (and never have) led a “lifestyle” of some big gay frilly-froo-froo over-the-top and in-your-face “gayness.”

I’m just a guy — a complex man — who enjoys hard work, community service, loving his spouse and family, caring for his friends — but who also happens to be gay.

Being gay does not define me, and I guess I should say that I have resented having others define me by being gay before defining me for the man I am.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge someone else who just recently wrote to me saying that he stumbled upon this blog three years ago and that by being the guy I am where being gay is not a central focus of my life helped him “find himself” and “understand that finally coming out as gay didn’t mean I would morph into some flaming stereotypical gay man. I could still be me.”

Wow… thanks for that. And it’s true… coming out to yourself and eventually to others does not change the man you have been all along. Sometimes it changes others’ perceptions about you, but not you, yourself. Took me a long time to realize that.

If others’ perceptions about me changed when they found out I was gay, the changes were imperceptible to me (for the most part) because they knew me first as the man I am before they also learned later that I was gay.

So yeah, I changed the wording in the header of this blog a month ago. I will change it again from time to time in the future, too. But what I say there is really what I am: your average married booted biker in the ‘burbs. No more, no less.

Life is short: be comfortable in your own skin and don’t let labels define you.