Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011 Page: 34 of 68
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As the International Gay Rodeo Finals return to
North Texas, we examine the connection
between the gay culture and the cowboy way
ARNOLD WAYNE JONES I Life+Style Editor
THE COWBOY WAY | Charlie Colella shows the form necessary to score points at
the rodeo, but his favorite event is pole bending, a combination of speed, precision
and horsemanship. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)
Like a true Texas transplant, Charlie Colella wasn't
born to the rodeo, but he got there as fast as he
Even today, at 51, Colella's family doesn't quite under-
stand how a boy reared in the Chicago suburbs, who
holds down a day job as an office working in corporate
America (19 years with Xerox, now with FedEx), now
lives on a 12-acre ranch in a small town (population:
1,200) an hour north of Dallas, breeding horses and pur-
suing his passion for the last 21 years: Ridin' the rodeo.
In Texas, the connection between mankind and the
rodeo is a familiar one. Even in urban North Texas, the
Mesquite Rodeo less than 20 miles from Downtown
Dallas looms as one of the most celebrated in the coun-
try. But Colella's interest developed while he was living
in, of all places, Bakersfield, Calif. — hardly the cliche
of Western masculinity.
He has been riding almost as long the International
Gay Rodeo Association has been around. "In 1990,1 was
living in Los Angeles and bored with my life and met
these guys from the rodeo," he explains. "I was a city
boy. My folks took us camping and we rode trail horses
when I was a kid, but even they said, 'Where did this
Here’s what’s next.
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011, newspaper, October 7, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239188/m1/34/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.