>Ride ‘Em Cowboy

>I’m not trying to be insensitive or anything, but I have to ask. If you’re holding a “gay rodeo” with the idea that it will help fight stereotypes, why in God’s name are people
dressing goats in pink underwear and decorating cows?
To me that just seems…gay.

“This proves that we are normal,” said Jen Vrana, president and founder of the Liberty Gay Rodeo Association, a 240-member group that was founded two years ago.

“This is an all-American sport, and we are all-American people.”

But the event – like other longer-established gay rodeos elsewhere in the United States – distinguishes itself from mainstream rodeos by injecting a little fun along with the strength and skill required to control a bucking animal.

Interspersed with familiar events like steer riding and calf roping were “goat dressing” – in which pairs of contestants try to put hot-pink underwear on the hind quarters of an uncooperative goat in the shortest time – and “steer decorating” in which one partner of a team has to tie a ribbon on the tail of a struggling steer while the other tries to hold on to its horns.

And speaking of gay…

Chuck Curry, a 45-year-old contestant in three events, came to the rodeo from Fort Lauderdale Florida. He said he had already participated in five other gay rodeos over the last three years and works two jobs, as a barman and a taxi driver, to support his hobby.

Asked why the rodeo appeals to him so much, he replied: “I get to meet people – that’s as politely as I can put it.”


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