Dan and Miki are proof that you don’t have to give up who you are to do what you love.
“This isn’t a crusade for me to prove that I can be a gay cowboy…I’m just someone who enjoys this particular lifestyle with the man that I love.” These are the powerfully simple words of Dan Smith, a 34-year-old cowboy living in rural North Queensland, Australia with his partner Miki.
But Dan’s self-confidence isn’t a gift he was born with. In his 20s, his perceived tension between an adolescence spent living on a farm and his newly realized identity as a gay man led him to believe that the two couldn’t coexist.
He left the home that he loved and moved to the city to try and “make it” in the life he thought he was supposed to have. He changed the way he dressed, the music he listened to and the places he frequented, all to try and adhere to an image in his head.
An image, he would eventually learn, was just not right for him.
Miki, on the other hand, has the exact opposite story. He grew up as a city boy, worked in Melbourne, and didn’t feel quite comfortable. He quit his job to travel around Australia, and met Dan along the way.
Together they discovered they could have their vegemite sandwiches and eat them, too.
Now they live a peaceful life on the land, tending to livestock and farming. And they couldn’t be happier.
Originally published at Queerty.com.