Finding the Right Guy

I received an email from a young man who described his desire to meet another guy like him — a guy-guy.  I hate to say it, but a “gay guy” is often aligned or malaligned as being effeminate.  Not all gay men are that way, but a number of them are.

I’ve posted before about masculine men, overcoming gay male stereotypes, where to find a masculine gay man, and how I found my man.  But let me reiterate some points that are related from my own life experience.

Most gay men don’t realize their interest in men until a bit later in life.  During high school, he usually “goes through the motions” of dating girls, going to the usual high school events like dances, etc., and playing a role that society (and parents) expect.  Think about it:  parents are the typical straight couple.  They expect their children to be heterosexual and tend to resist the thought that their sons may be gay.

When I was in high school, I jumped in with both boots.  I was very active in various clubs and groups, and excelled in my studies.  I became Salutatorian, which is a fancy way of saying that one other person beat me out scholastically to be the Valedictorian.  So be it.  High school was fun, but very focused.  My social life was in large circles; not with any one girl (or any one guy, for that matter.)

When I went to college, I was also busier than a beaver.  I thought I knew what I wanted to study, and worked hard at it.  But I had wide and varied interests.  What resulted was three undergraduate degrees in a relatively short five-and-a-half year timeframe, with a year of that spent studying in Europe.  On top of that, I became President of my college social fraternity, President of two other clubs, an officer in campus-wide student government, and maintained a 3.9 (out of a 4.0) gradepoint average on about 20 – 22 credits per semester.  I didn’t have TIME for a social life!

After college, I began working full-time, and going to school for a Master’s Degree.  Again, all work and no time for fun.  I would ride my motorcycle on those occasional off-times for fun, and would hang out with some friends on rare occasions.  But mostly, I remained focused on civic work (when I began my volunteering in the community), on completing my graduate studies, and working… working… working.  The work involved a huge amount of domestic travel.

By the time I reached my late 20s, I was feeling the sands of time dripping through that hourglass, and was wondering if I would ever “settle down.”  The family jokes about the “perpetual student” saw me working on a doctorate through completion.  Then they all kinda said, “so when are you going to find ‘the right woman’ and settle down?”

I had figured myself out by then, and gently explained that I’m not interested in women.  About the same time, the HIV/AIDS crisis was at its peak of confusion and fright.  My Mom thought that even dating another guy would result in my contracting this disease, and dying a horrid death.  I “laid low” (that is, didn’t have sex with anyone) because I was scared, too.

But human nature being what it is, I wanted to find “the right guy,” settle down, and have a life together with a home and the proverbial picket fence, flower gardens, and a life.  I mean, a real life with someone who is your best half, your best friend; the guy who supports you through life’s trials without question or criticism, and who is the bedrock of your life.

So by my mid-30s, I began looking around.  The Internet had not yet been widely deployed to the masses.  The only options I had were to go to bars… which I didn’t like.  I could dress the part, but I turned into a pumpkin way too early (like by 9pm, even back then.)

I got the weekly gay paper and read the ads for guys looking for guys. I arranged some dates.  All duds.  I joined a skydiving club, which I truly enjoyed… but all the guys had girls and even though this was a very masculine activity, no gay masculine men were in that group.  I went hiking with some groups, and found a gay guy in one of those groups, but he was “involved” with someone else.

I kept looking.  I joined a “leather/levi MC” club (mistakenly thinking it was a motorcycle riding club) … and that’s when I met my man.  I knew from the moment we first met that “he was the one.”  The day we met is the date we refer to it being our anniversary, because we’ve been together ever since.  Seventeen-plus years, with a lifetime to go making the bootprints of our journey.  

Had I not met my partner then, I would have kept looking.  Joining groups, hanging out in straight pubs and continuing involvement in civic work.  There are gay men in these places.  They just don’t hang a sign around their neck saying, “I’m a single masculine gay man.”

This young man is interested in meeting a man to build a life, not just for sex. Believe me, a relationship with a man takes work, and isn’t all sex.

Anyway, what I advised this young man was to continue with his college career and focus on what’s best for him academically.  If that brings him to grad school in another state, that’s fine.  If getting a spot in grad school is local, then so be it.  But focus on his needs for his future career and interests first.  Get a job where you want to work and will rise each day saying, “oh goodie!  I get to go to work today!”  (Remember, if you’re unhappy at work, you will be hard to be around, and few guys will want to hang around with a miserable person.  Make yourself happy, and you’ll have more people interested in you.  No one wants to date a sadsack.)

Then once your studies and work are settled into a predictable and pleasant routine, begin looking around.  That is, provided you haven’t met someone before then.  

It happens in the most unlikely circumstances, and when you’re not looking.  Take your time, focus on your needs, and don’t obsess about it.  Good things happen to those who wait.  (And I can relate a number of stories from gay men who didn’t wait, and got into some fairly awful situations.)

Life is short:  take care of yourself, and make the priorities your life.  

Leather Ties

Okay, I have ranted about not wanting to wear a noose (that is, a necktie) to work. My partner has “other plans.”  The other day, he presented me a gift of two very well-made leather ties, one in blue and one in grey (not all leather must be black). He bought them from 665 Leather of West Hollywood, California, as a “you got a job, now wear a tie” gift.

Hmmm… I guess he knows me too well. I would like to wear leather to work, but of course I can’t. However, in the right circumstances, a dress leather tie would look cool!

Of course, I had to put them on with some leather shirts in my gear closet. They have a nice appearance together. Some day soon I will try them on with a regular shirt, but until then, I’ll just hang out in leather, even monochromatic leather. 🙂

How thoughtful my best half is. Truly… he found a way for me to want to wear a tie! LOL!

Life is short: make accommodations and cherish the love.

Gallery of Motorcops

I spent a good deal of time processing photos that I took on September 25, 2010, at the police rodeo that I attended and at which I served as a judge.  I posted the gallery on my website.  Come check it out!

Someone asked me if I, ahem, “got excited” while surrounded by all those booted bike cops.  You know, to tell you the truth, the answer is no.  I enjoyed the event; don’t get me wrong.  But while I enjoy looking at the cops in uniform, including their boots, it doesn’t make me feel a certain way (that gay guys may think about.)  

I work with cops on community activities where I live and have attended a number of these police rodeo events.  It’s not a big deal.  Cops are people too, and most of them are very friendly and are happy to explain things to us “biker civilians” if asked.

The only feelings I had were: 1) admiration for fine public servants; 2) awe — watching them gracefully handle their big bikes through challenging events; and 3) relief — at the end of the day when I could sit down!  Standing for hours is painful!  LOL!

Meanwhile, you may be interested in the entire set of bike cop galleries on my website.

Life is short:  motor officers deserve appreciation!

Graceful Motorcops

I have always been impressed with how motorcycle police officers handle their bikes.  I call it graceful.  Observe in some of the images below how they look where they want the bike to be, rather than what is ahead.  A lesson I need to continue to learn by practice.  These are a few images that I took during the police motorcycle competition held Saturday, September 25.

Life is short: look where you want to be!

Sun-filled, Cop-filled Day

I spent the day yesterday serving as a judge for a police motorcycle rodeo.  It was interesting, especially watching the motor officers ride through the courses.  Many ride with such grace, it makes me wonder how I can even start my own bike, much less move it down the road.  They’re really amazing.

Below is a photo of me on the course serving as a judge.  (I’m the one in lime yellow, in case you were wondering.)

Life is short:  volunteer your services!

It Gets Better

A friend of mine with whom I attended school since we were in first grade posted a message on Facebook the other day, indicating how miserable she felt in high school. She’s lesbian — and I didn’t know it until later in life when we found each other again through Facebook.

She described how left out and unhappy she felt during high school. Funny, I didn’t remember that. She was the star of our high school plays. I thought she was well-liked and admired.

I remember feeling kinda badly during school, too … but not because I was gay; I didn’t know I was gay then. I just didn’t really know much about my sexual orientation. I do remember, though, being picked on by bullies and called “fag” and “queer” among other names. If I didn’t have my taller twin defending me all the time, I probably would have been dead meat.

Overall, I had a miserable junior high experience (age 12 – 14), as my father died when I was 12 and I went through puberty late. I was a meek weakling ripe for school bullies to toy with. By high school, I had become more confident and secure, mostly due to teachers who treated me with respect, by becoming involved in activities in which I assumed leadership positions, and also by serving as my brother-the-jock’s strongest cheering section.

Anyway, I’m here to say that as you get older, it does get better. It really does. You come to terms with yourself, and with others around you. Your family deals with it too, and most families, like mine, accept. I’m very happy that my family has long since moved beyond mere “acceptance” to having me feel embraced, always loved….

The following video shows two young men describing how bad the felt during high school and during their coming out process. It’s interesting to watch. Please view it. It provides assurance that I can attest to as well: it does get better.

Cowboy Boots for Work

While I really do prefer to stomp in the mud sometimes or wear leather regularly, I admit, muddy boots or full leather won’t quite work in the office (giggle). Fortunately, I won’t have to dress like this, either. A relaxed dress code doesn’t require coat & tie for daily office wear where I’m going.

However, dress slacks and shirts with a collar are required. Fine, I can live with that as long as I don’t have to wear a noose very often, or a restrictive, hot jacket. Face it, as I have said often on this blog, I’m a jeans-n-boots-n-leather kinda guy.

Anyway, as a present to myself, I looked for a pair of new dress cowboy boots to wear to work when I start. I have always liked Lucchese Classics, but their prices were beyond what I wanted to pay. I mean, $700 for a pair of cowboy boots that look identical to a pair that cost 1/3 as much?

I know there is a quality difference, but I just didn’t want to pay that much for boots. However… as I surfed around, I found a pair of Lucchese Classic cowboy boots in dark grey that were on a close-out. I picked ’em up for a really great price. I ordered them on a Wednesday and they were delivered on Friday, with no charge for shipping.

The only thing was that these boots were one-half size larger than I usually wear. That’s fine — I bought a pair of Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles and put them in the boots. The insoles take up the extra room and make the boots very comfortable for all-day wear.

So… I’m well-booted for work… can’t wait to start….

Life is short: wear boots to work!

Bama’s Fault

This image is all Bamaboy’s fault. All his fault. Oh my has he influenced me.

He is known for his stunning photographic and Photoshop skills. I am among the few fortunate men to have met him and enjoy a wonderful friendship with a smart, witty, great guy.

But man oh man, has he influenced me. I ride by a stream or river, and the boots jump in the mud. As Bama says, “hahahahahaha!”

Life is short: share joy of great friendships.

[by the way, the boots clean up well when hosed off…]

What To Wear With Motorcycle Boots?

Google provides me great “blog fodder.” That is, ideas for things to post on this blog. When people search questions like “what to wear with motorcycle boots” and it comes up high in the rankings and lands visitors on this blog, I see that… so I respond. (Be assured, I don’t know who is asking; I only see the question.)

So, what do guys wear with motorcycle boots? The #1 choice, of course, is blue jeans. Usually Levis or Wranglers… just plain old jeans. Nothin’ fancy. Blue jeans and biker boots go well together, and present confidence. Nothing looks better than tough boots on a secure man.

Guys also wear other clothes with motorcycle boots. After blue jeans, guys wear leather with biker boots. Leather jeans, or chaps over jeans. This is common attire in cool weather among confident, secure men. (Unfortunately, not that many men have the confidence to wear leather jeans in public. They fret too much about what others may say. Their loss…).

A third choice is breeches. Cloth motor breeches are worn by motorcycle cops, and other guys, too. These pants are made specifically to be worn while operating a motorcycle. They are comfortable, stretch in the right places, and provide protection as well as look good — especially with tall patrol boots. Few non-cops choose to wear motor breeches, which is a shame. Guys look good in them.

Regular guys don’t wear shorts with motorcycle boots, because they know that wearing shorts while operating a motorcycle is an open invitation to incurring serious injury.

Do gay guys who wear motorcycle boots choose different clothing to wear with them than straight guys? Nope. I speak from personal knowledge. After all, I’m a guy, a biker, and I like to wear motorcycle boots. And I’m gay. I dress like everyone else. There’s no difference, and those who claim that there is a difference have much to learn.

Life is short: wear boots!