Friday, September 25, 2020. New York City – Queer rodeos in the United States of America?
Dale Berning Sawa wrote the article “Kissing cowboys: the queer rodeo stars bucking a macho American tradition” on The Guardian. In part, it says, “Photographer Luke Gilford couldn’t believe his eyes when he first stumbled across a gay rodeo. He set out to capture the joyous, tender, authentic world he saw there.
Luke Gilford was at a Pride event in northern California in 2016 when he was drawn to a stand by the sound of Dolly Parton singing 9 to 5. What he found there would change his life. Members of the local chapter of the Golden State Gay Rodeo Association were promoting what they do, and how they live. Gilford looked on in astonishment. “I grew up around this world,” he says. “I had no idea this existed. I really didn’t think it was real.”
The headwear belonged to his father, a rodeo champion and subsequent judge in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Gilford was born in Colorado, and grew up watching his dad ride in snakeskin boots, a giant silver buckle gleaming at his waist. He gradually realised that he didn’t fit into this world, though. “The mainstream rodeo world is, you know, obviously, very homophobic and conservative. There’s so much machismo. It’s racist.”
Today, the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) has 15 member groups across the US, with one more in the Canadian Rockies. “
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