A month ago I didn’t know there was a Gay Rodeo. Then through a conversation with a friend on FB I learned that the Gay Rodeo was coming to town. I pulled on my blue jeans and moseyed on over. Over all the day was a hit.
There was calf roping on foot, mounted break-away roping, team roping, steer decorating, the grand entry, bull Riding, goat dressing, chute dogging, pole bending, wild drag race, barrel race, flag race, and then junior bull riding. Everyone had fun. Enjoy my pictures from the even as you learn more about the history of Gay Rodeo.
The Texas Gay Rodeo Association was founded in the summer of 1983. November 1984 heralded the first annual Texas Gay Rodeo near Houston, beginning the tradition of the TGRA Fall rodeo, which continues to this day. Then there is IGRA, or International Gay Rodeo Association.
IGRA events are intended to allow all competitors, regardless of sexual and gender identity, to compete in rodeo sports without discrimination. The organization helps spread appreciation for Western culture and the sport of rodeo, while serving as a fundraising vehicle benefiting many charitable organizations.
The idea for a "gay rodeo" originated with Phil Ragsdale in 1975. As the "Court Emperor" of Reno, Nevada, Ragsdale decided to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by means of a gay rodeo. The first available date at the Washoe County Fairgrounds was October 2nd, 1976, and Ragsdale began planning at once.
At first, he was not able to find any farmers or ranchers willing to lease livestock for a gay rodeo, but eventually the animals were secured and the rodeo went on as scheduled. There were not very many contestants or spectators that first year, but Ragsdale decided to keep it as an annual event. The event became known as the National Reno Gay Rodeo and every year thousands of dollars were raised for Muscular Dystrophy through competition of the titles of Mr., Ms., and Miss National Reno Gay Rodeo.
See if a Gay Rodeo is coming your way this year. This year’s IGRA Schedule of Events.