Coming Out By Another Ordinary Guy Who Rides

LanglitzmeonbikeI have written on this blog fairly often that I feel that I am just a regular guy, a motorcycle rider, one who chooses to wear leather garments regularly (rather than just as a costume or once-a-year events), and a guy who happens to be gay.

I received an email from a reader, a fellow biker, and who recently came out. He explained his feelings to me. With his permission, here is what he said–

Thank you for all that you do encouraging the community. In particular you have been a key link in the chain of events to my coming out this past year. Particularly your comments on being just an ordinary guy who rides.

Let me see if I can outline the events. First of all, I have been wearing full, classically styled leather for the 30 years I’ve ridden a motorcycle. Over the years even including a leather tie. Unfortunately I grew out of my first jacket a couple years ago. In researching options to order one from Langlitz, I found your website. Also with it mention of BLUF.

Well, things inside me started working and when [some friends] found out I planned to visit Mr. S when we were in San Francisco. I decided not to fight it any more. Folks say I look happier and more relaxed. I’ve contacted a couple groups in now that I’m back home. I’ve even registered with BLUF. So thank you for helping launch me on my new life page.

LanglitzcrescentWow, I never really know who I reach or influence with my writings.

It is nice to know that I am not the only guy out there who feels the same way about motorcycle riding, wearing leather, and being fully open about his sexual orientation.

Not in the too distant past, I kept my sexual orientation quiet because I feared retribution by straight bosses at work and community leaders I had to work with in my civic work. You can say that I lived in the closet — a leather closet.

I wore leather frequently, but used my Harley as the excuse to do so.

RelaxedThen I “came out” as a Leatherman first. I got to thinking, “heck, I own so many leather garments, they would go to waste if they just hung in the closet.” So I wore my leather jeans (with boots of course) when doing routine errands. No one said anything.

Then I wore leather jeans and a leather jacket & boots to meetings. No one said anything.

Then I wore full leather — shirt, jeans, boots, and jacket — almost everywhere (in cool/cold weather.) The only comments I got were attempts at some jokes from straight friends. Soon comments about being one of the “Village people” didn’t bother me any more.

As I was coming of age with more comfort in wearing leather in public, I had also settled down with the man of my life.

Fall2013aWe built a house and settled into a community where I got elected to a non-partisan position for civic engagement. I made friends among civic leaders and elected officials at the county and state level. Everyone who knew me knew that I lived with a man.

My family knew that I was gay longer than I did, so coming out to them was never an issue. They all knew and loved their brother regardless. They just wanted to know that I was safe, happy, and settled.

When I left a job where most of my bosses were retired military and began working elsewhere, I was “fully out.” I no longer avoided questions about who I live with. Then in 2013 when the law in Maryland changed such that we could marry, we did. Again, no big deal (and no frilly gay wedding. Just a marriage ceremony which was rather anticlimactic.)

Ride01122014blogWell, anyway, back to the point of this post — I thank the guy who took some time to write to me to explain how this blog influenced his life and his choice to come out to colleagues and friends. He said, as I feel, that he is happier and more relaxed. Good for him! Thanks very much for letting me know. Again, I never know how my blog or website influences others.

Life is short: wear leather and be yourself.