The life of a truck driver can be a lonely one, away from home for days or weeks on end; hours upon hours sitting in a cab, focused on the horizon with only your own thoughts and maybe a radio station to keep you company. Yet it is a life that some populations find attractive, even consoling to some extent. For gay, lesbian, transgender and black truck drivers, life on the road can be a comfort and provide a level of safety and security, in part because of the way the trucking community has accepted them. Their stories, though, are rarely told, which is what drove author Anne Balay to spend 3 years researching truck drivers for her new book, Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers. Balay herself has experienced an interesting life journey, including time spent as a mechanic, a truck driver she still has her CDL , and a visiting professor at several universities.
So, this will be my life moving forward. When I'm not driving, chances are I'll be at a truck stop somewhere. Here is my first experience, and one I probably won't ever forget. Not because something extremely dramatic happened, but just because I'm soaking everything in right now. After delivering our load this morning, we were told freight is light and there was nothing for us yet to pick up. My first impression is that this truck stop is extremely busy!
Author tells the untold stories of gay, trans truck drivers in new book
I have been fascinated by truck drivers from the time I knew I was gay. Just the thought of all that power behind the wheel of such a big piece of machinery made my mouth water. I think my fascination was fueled by something that almost happened but didn't when I was in my early twenties. I was working in a discount store where I had been working since graduation from college. I lived in a small town in the south and in those days it wasn't uncommon for a boy in his twenties to be inexperienced in a lot of things.
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