Ride 'Em Cowboys! Straight Writer Steve Wilson Follows the Trail to the Ever-Gay Great Plains Rodeo

By Wilson, Steve | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), September 30, 2003 | Go to article overview

Ride 'Em Cowboys! Straight Writer Steve Wilson Follows the Trail to the Ever-Gay Great Plains Rodeo


Wilson, Steve, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


"You're not gay, are you?" asked the cowboy in the Oak Room Lounge at the Oklahoma City Holiday Inn.

"No " I admitted.

"Well. I'll flirt with you anyway."

Relief. of a sort washed over me. Disheveled, scrawny, and straight, I'd been feeling triply alienated at the opening-night party of the Oklahoma Gay Rodeo Association's (OGRA) 18th Annual Great Plains Rodeo. held every May. The celebrants had outdone me not only in fashion and grooming (as I expected) but manliness as well. It was as if Garth Brooks had entered the Matrix duplicated himself a hundred times over and then come out of the closet.

Beefy men wearing tight Wranglers. crisp western shirts, identical white cowboy hats, and immaculate goatees carried on like they'd just gotten out of gay finishing school. These cowboys flirted shamelessly, greeting each other with phrases like "Bitch! There you are!" and making liberal use of the free condom bowl by the bar.

Back in the lounge, Gaither Pennington. president of the Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association. explained the appeal of gay rodeos. "They're fun." he said as he eyed a pair of denim-clad asses in front of us. "And there's a lot of nice scenery."

Then he got philosophical, explaining how gay rodeos are one of the few ways for gay men in rural areas to meet other gay folks. Is that why the fellows here were letting loose with such ... gusto? Maybe. but Pennington had a simpler reason: "Some gay guys don't like country and western but t can't see any guys not liking cowboys."

I chuckled nervously.

As the party moved to Ballroom D down the hall, I soon got my fill of Jell-O shots and began feeling inadequately catty about the drag queens lip-synching to Patsy Kline onstage. I followed the example of the few lesbians present and returned to my room before the party moved to a oar c ailed the Cabana. I wanted acceptance, but not that badly.

A collection of plastic bucket seats and livestock chutes circling a pit of mud, Horse Barn Number 6 at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds could have been any rodeo arena. For that matter, the competition held there the next morning could have been any rodeo, albeit one sponsored by "Elbow Grease Personal Lubricants." The cowboys and cowgirls wrestled, roped, and rode steer with all the grit, bravery, violence, and caw slobber you'd expect from such endeavors. If it hadn't been for the rainbow-stickered pickups blasting dance music in the parking lot. might have thought, was in the wrong place.

By the time of the Grand Entry at noon, it was clear this was no straight man's--or woman's--rodeo.

The steady stream of club hits on the sound system went silent as OGRA vice president Randy Rodgers and a pair of drag queens carried an American flag to the center of the arena. They stood there solemnly as the speakers blared "Proud to Be an American." More drag queens took the pit with members of the various participating gay rodeo organizations and paraded around to the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Ride 'Em Cowboys! Straight Writer Steve Wilson Follows the Trail to the Ever-Gay Great Plains Rodeo
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.