gay rodeo

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While on the treadmill the other day, I caught the episode Gay Rodeo from This Is Life with Lisa Ling. Gay cowboys and cowgirls shared some of their stories.

By Michelle Schaefer

Katie ran as fast as she could, terrified. But the man and his gang had already decided her fate. He caught her around her neck and twisted violently until she fell to the ground. His buddies whooped and laughed and cheered him on.

The International Gay Rodeo Association was founded in the 1980s for the purpose of raising funds to fight the AIDS epidemic. As someone who lost a cousin to AIDS during that time, I’m grateful all that research means AIDS is no longer a death sentence. If my cousin were still here, we’d dress like Marilyn and blow celebratory kisses.

LGBTQIA+ and cis/straight humans can write symphonies and send texts and like things on Instagram. In that, we are different from non-human animals. Except monkeys, who would probably have no problem texting a poop emoji. Human animals and most other animals are alike, however, in our ability to feel joy, love, fear, and pain.

Check out this Gay Rodeo video.

In fact, one could wonder whether the LGBTQIA+ community—having been subjugated as a group throughout modern history to emotional imprisonment, beatings, and even murder for being born into an illogical culture that often decided what a non-cis/straight person’s fate should be—are arguably even more in touch with fear and pain than anyone deserves to be. Perhaps the same can be said for LGBTQIA+’s ability to feel joy and love. When we are oppressed and then find freedom, we know what joy is. When we are scared and find companionship, we know love more deeply. When we are deprived of Oreos and then eat a sleeve, we weep with validation. Or is that just me?

Most of modern society believes that non-human animals are here to serve human animals. Animals raised for food or entertainment, or both, are imprisoned and sent to slaughterhouses after being deprived of familial bonds and suffering a life full of terror. Just like those guys in Brokeback Mountain, they are beaten for no reason, even murdered. When one is released to sanctuary, the freedom and happiness they clearly feel can’t be denied. They know they are safe and accepted and free from the danger they endured for so long; tormented for no reason other than how they popped out on this planet. They were just born that way.

Here’s another video to watch.

Katie ran as fast as she could, fear coursing through her veins. But she didn’t run fast enough to escape the violent grips of the gay cowboy. No one explained to Katie-the-calf that it represented freedom for gay cowboys-n-girls, or that it raised money for the LGBTQIA+ community. And anyhow, Katie wouldn’t have been able to understand such explanations. After all, it’s not like she has a human’s ability to understand logic.

Our final video.

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