Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011 Page: 35 of 68
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Surprisingly, the idea of a gay rodeo didn't
even arise in Texas. The first acknowledged
event — a fundraiser to fight muscular dystro-
phy — took place in Reno, Nev, in 1976. In 1981,
the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association had been
formed, followed in 1982 by the Texas Gay
Rodeo Association. By 1986, the IGRA was
formed as an umbrella organization of regional
groups, including ones from Canada (hence the
Colella started off his rodeo career big: Riding
steer and bulls. That's where a human sits atop a
one-ton wild animal and tries to hold on for
eight seconds. Even the best cowboys end their
rides being thrown on their asses, "It often was
one Of the biggest rushes ever!" Colella gushes.
Rodeo events have resulted in him suffering a
fractured pelvis, a broken foot and a herniated
vertebra. He doesn't ride bulls anymore.
"There's an old saying: To be a bull rider, you
fill your mouth with marbles; every time you
ride a bull, you spit out a marble; once you've
lost all your marbles, you're a bull rider," he
laughs. "I started with that and rode bulls for a
couple years, but I'm a little older and little
smarter now, so I don't do the rough stuff."
Colella pursues about 11 of the 14 competi-
tions, and he's qualified for seven events in the
IGRA Finals, which take place at the Will Rogers
Coliseum in Fort Worth this weekend. (For a com-
plete schedule of events, see Page 27,) The invita-
tional event is considered the capstone of the gay
"Pole bending: is the one I get nutted up about.
I was sitting No. 1 in it [this year], but I had a
bad day last time and someone pulled ahead of
me," lie says.
Even with his current slate of events, Colella
has had his share of close calls. Just last month,
he "had a little argument with a steer," as he
puts it. "I'm not quite:sure what happened — I
There should be plenty of beefy hot cowboys in
town during the IGRA rodeo, but why not enjoy
them all year long? Thanks to HomoRodeo.com,
you can. Their Cowboy Outlaws calendar means
you don't have to book a trip to Brokeback Moun-
tain to find aw-shucks hotties.
HomoRodeo.com is a social networking site
celebrating the queer community (mostly men) on
the rural side of the fence: farmers, cowboys and
just-everyday guys. Founded by Harley Deuce,
the site and the calendar are in their 7th year cel-
ebrating the cowboy.
"I grew up in a rural environment," Deuce says.
"HomoRodeo.com is a result of going to gay
rodeos and helping the people stay in touch, pro-
mote the sport. I appreciate what the cowboy rep-
No professional models were harmed in the
making of Cowboy Outlaws — all models in the cal-
endar are members of the site. And those members
are willing to bare it all. Yup, all. This is the gift that
keeps on giving — until December, at least.
HomoRodeo.com will host meet-and-greets at
both Woody's and Best Friends with this year's gen-
tlemen, some of who are competing at IGRA. But
with a limited edition in print and the appeal of the
think I got horned," he says^ pointing to a two-
inch scar on his forehead smack dab between his
eyes. "It was in Kansas City in, of all events, wild
drag. My buddy does the drag and the steer got
away from us. We caught it and he went around
me with the rope. I ducked to keep from being
penned and that's when it happened. It went
through my hat, so it could have been worse."
All in the day of a cowboy's life.
Or, for that matter, a cowgirl. Gay rodeo has
traditionally embraced women in a way that
mainstream rodeos have not. In 1989, a woman,
Linn Copeland, was appointed to serve Out the
unexpired term of president of the IGRA, and in
1990 she was elected to another full term. While
women's and men's events are still kept separate
in competitions, Colella for one doesn't see the
women's branch as being any less competitive:
The events are the events, and the skills are ex-
actly the same.
"We've had some incredible bulls and some
pretty incredible female bull riders. I'd like to see
more women get involved — there are like two
guys for every girl.
"We compete men against men, women
against women, but if we blended it all together
some Of these women would kick your butt. I
was teasing a buddy once that he 'threw like a
girl,' and did I get my ass chewed out. I was
being unfair — these women can throw a rope.
Some of these girls'11 kick your ass!"
So what keeps men — and women — like
Colella coming back year after year?
As a convert to cowboydom, Colella takes it
seriously as a lifestyle. Even at work, he dresses
daily in a pressed Western shirt, jeans and os-
trich-skin boots; he proudly sports an oversized
belt buckle, one of perhaps two dozen he has
won over the years for his rodeo skills. ("I've got
every ribbon, every buckle I've ever won. Alot
■ ROPIN', Page 36
2012: MKN OF
men, Deuce says to plan your visit.
"The line can get long, especially if people are
waiting to get all the guys' autographs," he says.
"Get there as soon as it opens."
Not a problem.
— Rich Lopez
Best Friends Club, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort
Worth. Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. Woody's, 4011 Cedar
Springs Road. Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. HomoRodeo.com.
OCT. SI, 831M, P6, 59/ NOV. 6IML SOU
SINGLE TICKETS START AT $25
BUY ONLINE WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG
OR CALL 214.443.1000
SEASON PRESENTED BY:
Eminrtstfnn VI ' "
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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/m1/35/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.