Photographer Blake Little documented the gay rodeo circuit and the lives of many of its participants in 41 black-and-white photographs between and The body of work explores the diverse and complex natures of individual and community identity in the West. A gallery talk on the creation of the exhibit is scheduled for p.
A pad on his helmet somehow smacked his face, leaving him with a black eye, one of the many injuries rodeo competitors are used to. Now, wearing a rainbow-colored tutu, wig, tank top and cowboy boots, he waits his turn to try to direct or drag a steer across a finish line with two teammates as part of a competition known as wild drag racing, a staple of this yearly event at a Las Vegas equestrian facility. Circuit rodeos feature a variety of traditional events, including bull riding, bareback bronc riding, calf roping and barrel racing.
A decade ago, Hollywood brought to life the story of a couple of gay cowboys in the epic film Brokeback Mountain. Until then, the Western lifestyle of men who love men went largely unnoticed. And so did the subculture of gay rodeos.
Can you give us a quick explanation of gay rodeo? How did you come across it? Zana Woods, the previous photo director at Wiredtook me in or to the Bill Pickett invitational rodeo in Hayward, California, where people from all over the country traveled to compete. Then a friend suggested I check out the gay rodeo in the Bay Area.
Little was a professional photographer, doing film and television work and shooting magazine covers in Los Angeles. When he and a friend went to their first rodeo, he wanted to be a cowboy, too. Little never imagined his pictures would be exhibited in art galleries, but Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo is showing the next two weekends at the Mid-America Arts Alliance.
I nphotographer Blake Little attended his first gay rodeo. His interest was piqued immediately, and he started participating, both as a contestant and as a photographer. He spent the next four years taking black and white photos.
Make sure to turn on your audio. Joe Barnett is a Calgary elementary school teacher who has won a number of award in the gay rodeo circuit. Some times you have a really hard day so your friend who is out of town and has to go to a rodeo with her family sends you a photo and you write gay rodeo haiku.
Consisting of forty-one black-and-white photographs taken between andBlake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo documents the gay rodeo circuit and the lives of many of its participants in those years. The collected body of work not only serves as a stunning example of black-and- white portraiture and rodeo photography, it also explores the diverse and complex natures of individual and community identity in the West. Drawn from an exhibition at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis as part of its Out West series, Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo elegantly combines classic portraiture and rodeo action and informs each image with a complex and rich multi-cultural identity.
And you can feel that pride as soon as you step into the arena. While the athletes here may not always be comfortable being out and proud at other rodeos around the country, this is a place where queer cowboys and cowgirls, drag queens and drag kings, all come together to compete without judgment aside from the actual judges, of course alongside their chosen rodeo family. Riders and ropers here are mostly amateur competitors and part-time athletes, many of whom grew up around livestock but have since moved to urban areas and cities.
They are the largest group coordinating rodeo events specifically welcoming lesbiangaybisexualtransgender LGBT as well as heterosexual participants and spectators. IGRA is composed of many regional gay rodeo associations, and sanctions a season of rodeo events which culminates in an annual World Gay Rodeo Finals. IGRA events are intended to allow all competitors, regardless of sexual and gender identityto compete in rodeo sports without discrimination. The organization helps spread appreciation for Western culture and the sport of rodeo, while serving as a fundraising vehicle benefiting many charitable organizations.