The Road Home
By Rhiannon Johnston

Long-haul trucker Bobby Coffey-Loy juggles driving up to 6,000 weekly miles while caring for his terminally ill mother. Seeking connection and understanding on the road, Bobby turns to the LGBTQ+ Trucking Network, a support system he founded with his husband Ricky.

The Road Home

Experience Bobby's struggle of balancing work and family in a profession where he is always on the road.

Bobby Coffey-Loy doesn't live a regular life.
Day after day, he's on the road with his husband, Ricky Coffey-Loy, hauling truckloads of pharmaceuticals to destinations all over America. Racking up to 6,000 miles a week in the cab of a semi-truck, Bobby has sacrificed so much of his life to be on the road, and he's not alone.
In the world of long-haul trucking, the hum of the engine and the endless highways become normal. However, beyond the miles, the long hours behind the wheel, and the constant movement, there's a struggle that often goes unnoticed—the mental and emotional toll that comes with the job.
"Long-haul truck drivers operate heavy trucks and tractor-trailers. These men and women are essential to the transportation of goods in the United States, but high job demands and low control may cause stress and lead to poor health."

-The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Bobby's mom, Brenda Loy, is there for him every step of the way. From the moment he came out as gay, to experimenting with drag, and even getting married to Ricky and hitting the road with him, Brenda is a constant support.

Sporting her signature Elvis Presley jacket, she always has a beaming smile while cheering Bobby on.
God says you are never to judge, I love them all.
—Brenda Loy
September 7, 2023
August 13, 2023
October 16, 2023
October 18, 2023
Bobby and Brenda before Bobby leaves for a haul.
Bobby in his drag persona "Illusion Michaels" with
Brenda before a show.
Brenda shows off her new Elvis Presley outfit.
Bobby, Ricky, and their dog Britney say goodbye
to Brenda before a weekly haul.
September 7, 2023
August 13, 2023
October 16, 2023
October 18, 2023
Bobby and Brenda before Bobby leaves for a haul.
Bobby in his drag persona "Illusion Michaels" with Brenda before a show.
Brenda shows off her new Elvis Presley outfit.
Bobby, Ricky, and their dog Britney say goodbye to Brenda before a weekly haul.

Brenda's radiant smile persists, even as Bobby kisses her goodbye on Monday mornings. Every week, he leaves her alone in the house while he takes on his hauling duties.


This constant distance between them has become a growing concern for Bobby.

DAY 1: MONDAY
*Miles driven on Monday based upon travel data from Jan 29- Feb 2, 2024

"The roar of the road is so loud that it is the clarity in your life."

-Bobby Coffey-Loy
Behind the wheel for 11 hours or more each day for 5 days a week, Bobby juggles calls about car payments, bills and getting food to his mom through online grocery sites—the responsibilities that most people manage from the comfort of their homes. The truck has become both his office and second home, a space where he attempts to deal with taking care of his mom, who is getting older and needs extra care.

Take a Look inside Bobby's Second Home.

Bobby and Ricky are experienced long-haul truckers. Together, in the same truck, with their two dogs Tinkerbell and Britney, they haul loads for a trucking company, "Over the Road Commercial Truck Drivers."

After Bobby drives for 11 hours, he rests while Ricky takes the wheel for his 11 hours. This allows the couple to cover greater distances without frequent stops- but this also means more time away from mom.
DAY 2: tuesday
*Miles driven on Tuesday (tandem driver) based upon travel data from Jan 29- Feb 2, 2024

Navigate Through Bobby's Usual Haul.

While Bobby has always been conscious of the significant portion of his life dedicated to the road, the true gravity of the sacrifices he makes daily didn't fully register until one day in November of 2023 he received a call while on the road.
Brenda had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
After experiencing the death of his father only a year ago, Bobby never took the time to heal, and now his mom was in the same position alone, while Bobby was on the road.

After receiving the call, Bobby sacrificed his load and drove immediately home.
DAY 3: Wednesday
*Miles driven on Wednesday based upon travel data from Jan 29- Feb 2, 2024

For the three weeks Bobby stayed by his mother's side. She visited friends and family, still spreading her energy and smile to everyone she interacted with. Even visiting her husband's grave and reminding him that it will be a while before she joins him.
“We’ll make up for time when I get there!” - Brenda Loy
Amid his mother's diagnosis, Bobby was struggling mentally to cope with the idea of her being gone.

  • Truck drivers have anxiety

  • Truck drivers have emotional problems

  • Truck drivers have depression

  • Truck drivers experience loneliness
During this time of need, Bobby fell back on the community he knew he could trust—the LGBTQ+ Trucking Network.

Bobby, a gay man in a field traditionally dominated by the stereotypical straight male, often felt unseen during his trips across the country. Despite sharing the road with millions of truckers, he recognized the absence of representation for the LGBTQ+ community. Determined to change this, Bobby decided to form a group. He founded the LGBTQ+ Trucking Network, based in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The goal of the group is to be a hub that unites and uplifts the queer voices navigating the roads with him.
To amplify these voices, Bobby launched the "Big Gay Trucker Podcast," a platform for conversations about the unique challenges faced by queer truckers.
As the LGBTQ+ Trucking Network and the Big Gay Trucker Podcast continued to grow, they evolved into more than just platforms for visibility. They became a family of untied queer truckers supporting each other no matter what.

When Bobby received a call that his mother had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, his trucking family came running to support him no matter what.

As a company driver, Bobby is constantly on call. So, his trucker family suggested that he take the risk and switch from a company-owned truck to owning his own. This would allow Bobby to create his own hours so he could spend more time with his mom at home.

From Driving a Company-Owned Truck to Owning His Own.

His trucker family stayed by his side during the whole process of removing the iconic pride stickers off his big semi-truck he prepared to sell it back to the company in exchange for a much smaller, green truck.
Even Brenda came out to admire the pride colors coming off a truck in which Bobby had invested so much of his money, time and effort.
“It was so pretty, yet days and everything change, time changes, another wrap.”
-Brenda Loy
In the days after beginning a new chapter in the green truck, Bobby soon realized this new chapter would be without his mom.

As the tumor grew and became more aggressive, that radiant smile slowly diminished.
DAY 4: Thursday
*Miles driven on Thursday based upon travel data from Jan 29- Feb 2, 2024

DAY 5: friday
*Miles driven on Friday based upon travel data from Jan 29- Feb 2, 2024
On December 28th, 2024, Brenda Loy, otherwise known as "Mom," finally reunited with her husband.

Three weeks after Bobby buried his mom, he was back on the road.
*Total weekly miles based upon travel data from January 29- February 2, 2024
This is just the life of a trucker, finding your way home to mom.
— Bobby Coffey-Loy
Made on
Tilda