For the first time in a very long time I wore boots to work. I did it because I pulled all my boots out of the closet because I finally found a place that would re-sole boots for a reasonable price - which is a challenge here in Austin. From the instant I put them on, I questioned why I ever wear anything else. These boots are made for me.
No matter how hard I sometimes try, I cannot escape my roots. Growing up, I wore boots and I have never escaped that country part of my soul. When I am wearing boots, I am at my confident best.
Some people consider boots to be cumbersome, weighty, uncomfortable footwear. For me, boots are the most natural, comfortable footwear available. The right boots fit me like a glove. I am me at my most when I am wearing boots.
Perhaps it is the two inches in height I pick up while wearing boots (I do routinely say that boots are my only socially-acceptable excuse for wearing heals). There is a degree of confidence that comes with wearing footwear of such solid leather construction. Whatever there is about boots, you don’t want to challenge me when I am wearing them.
Ultimately, though, no matter how I try, I cannot change the person I am at my core. I live in the city. I attempt to have a cosmopolitan lifestyle. I converted most of my back yard into a garden so I have a reason to have dirt under my fingernails. The central part of who I am – that person with country at the core – cannot be erased and rewritten. Contrary to what many would encourage, and what I have attempted to do for years, one does not have to change who one is to hold a particular set of values.
I can still be a cowboy and value social justice. Actually, being a cowboy is quite compatible with social justice if one understands the history behind cowboy culture.
I can still be a cowboy and be a voice for my students who face disadvantages due to a disability, perceived disability, or social status. Whatever there is about boots, you don’t want to challenge me when I am wearing them.
I can still be a cowboy and be the gay man that I am. Honestly, boots make my butt look good!
I can still be a cowboy and do everything that matters to me.
Whenever I wake up in the morning and slip on my boots, I know these boots were made for me!