You know, I’m a runner, though not so much these days as when I was younger.

I was just writing to somebody else today that I’ve run thousands of miles through suburban neighborhoods all over the United States, including down in the Deep South.

Never once have I felt in danger. Never have I been scrutinized or threatened. A middle-aged white man in jogging clothes is safe out running. That’s just the way it is.

I’ve even, while running, stopped to poke around the odd construction site out of a sense of idle curiosity. Again, no danger or threats.

Middle-aged white men like me are presumed to be legitimate.

That’s a privilege that does not extend to black men, as we’ve seen this past week after learning a black jogger was murdered for nothing more than running his daily route.

I can acknowledge to myself that I enjoy that privilege without feeling guilty or ashamed or anything else negative about myself. It’s just a true thing that is.

I would hope, however, the next time I’m out running I ponder why I’m safe, and why other people aren’t. I would hope that my introspection and empathy would help make part of the solution and not part part of the problem.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.