Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles [MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: When you think of motorcycle gangs, this is what most people imagine, a group straight out of "Sons of Anarchy." Thugs and criminals who probably terrorize the road every time they ride out. But not all motorcycle gangs have the same agenda. MICHAEL SHARKEY: Hi, my name is Michael Sharkey. And I'm a portrait photographer living in Brooklyn, New York. This is just one of many photographs I made that day, documenting the Empire City Motorcycle Club, or ECMC, New York City's oldest gay biker gang. The club was formed in 1964 at a time when there were very few places in the city gay men could gather and be themselves. SPEAKER: When the club was founded more than 50 years ago, the LGBT rights movement was in its infancy. Older members recall how coming out was a big risk. MICHAEL SHARKEY: While researching the project, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of ECMC's oldest members, Emil Solis. He joined the Empire City Motorcycle Club with his partner Bill in June of 1965. And he told me at that time it was very dangerous. You could be fired or evicted if your boss or landlord didn't like the way you looked. SPEAKER: And there was also the very real threat of violence. So the Empire City Motorcycle Club really provided a sanctuary from all that. And today members often comment that it gives them a sense of unity too. MICHAEL SHARKEY: The reason I titled the series, Brotherhood of Men, is because in the course of speaking to each of the members, it became clear that the most important thing to each of them was a sense of family and camaraderie, friendship, and brotherhood. SPEAKER: The Empire City Motorcycle Club was and still is an integral part of the gay community in New York because of the sense of brotherhood. The club events and group rides bring together like minded folks from the gay community, which is what compelled Michael to take pictures of them. MICHAEL SHARKEY: As a gay man, I'm certainly drawn to gay subjects. But I think more generally, I'm drawn to marginalized groups and to subjects that exist outside the norm. These guys are obviously doing something that they truly love and with people that they really care about. [MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: For a whole lot more Seeker Stories, be sure to click Subscribe. It's really the best way to make sure you never miss any of our episodes. And thanks for watching.