ASIDE FROM THE diversity and openness, the trash and the travel, the most powerful quality of the Highwaymen is likely a characteristic where, rather than standing apart from other leather clubs, members have found that sense of family that so many of the clubs have mastered. There is family in fetish, and the Highwaymen take that just as seriously and as strongly as the rest.
Says Kaylor, ”The Highwaymen have played a very big part in my life over the years. The group has changed a lot over the years and there are only two members left of the group I joined. But you could call the Highwaymen family, in a way. I still have my other family and my relationship, but the Highwaymen have been the constant of the last 20 years. They’re part of the bricks and mortar that’s my life.”
That sense of brotherhood passes easily to women, particularly in the case of Thompson, who insists on being called a ”brother,” whatever her identity as a woman.
”Maybe it’s me and my gender neutrality, but I like being called a brother,” she says. ”All the other guys are like, ‘You do know she has a bigger set of balls than all of us put together…?’ Any person coming into the Highwaymen, your gender makes no difference. It’s whether or not you feel comfortable and you see a space in the group for yourself, that you can see everybody as brothers, that you can envision yourself part of the family, because that’s what it ends up being. We’re not always coming over for dinner, but when there’s a Highwayman in need, you can pick up the phone and you know there’s a brother that’s going to be there. It very much feels like a family.”
Those considering joining the Highwaymen TNT family can certainly get a glimpse of the club in action during the MAL Weekend, but Thomas emphasizes there may be just too much going on to get a good representation. Still, he hopes old friends and newbies alike will come out to Gear Up and make a party to remember – and possibly repeat.
”We’ve worked really hard to make it a successful dance, and I think it will be,” Thomas says. ”But people really wanting to know who we are, some of our smaller events — Jock Night or a cookout — are better chances for people to get to know us individually and as a club. You can walk up to me or one of my club brothers as we’re eating dinner or as we’re standing around in our jocks drinking beer more easily that at a 400-person dance at MAL Weekend.”
As for Thompson, she just wants to make sure you ”Gear Up” and get your sexy on.
”There are all kinds of fetishes of the leather community that a lot of people don’t see, which is why we ended up with ‘Gear Up,”’ she says. ”Gear up in whatever makes you feel good and sexy and hot. Bring it and flaunt it and enjoy yourself.”
The Highwaymen TNT ”Gear Up” party with DJ Nathan Patrick is Friday, Jan. 17, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the host hotel. Admission is free. For more information about the party or the club, visit trashandtravel.com.