Its difficult to write an entire post on gay cowboys without penciling
in a joke. I really want to, but journalistic ethics prevent me from
doing so. Fortunately, that is why we have a comment section.
The Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association (ASGRA) holds its annual
Atlantic Stampede this Saturday and Sunday (September 8-9) at the
Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Its a gay rodeo – which is pretty much
like a regular rodeo but with tighter-fitting jeans.
To be honest with readers, there was a time when I did rodeo. There
was even a brief stretch – and yes, I am gay – where I worked on a
ranch as a cowboy (really, do you need another excuse to go ahead and
make your joke in the comment section below?). So, I happen to be
personally familiar with the subject.
The Atlantic Stampede is a pretty serious athletic competition. It
features traditional events such as bull riding, calf roping (my former
sport) and shoot dogging. ASGRA does play to its crowd by including
“camp” events, which this year features a recreation of Dolly Madison
fleeing a burning White House, but in the form of a drag queen race.
The year I attended, the camp event centered on a Cher impersonator
riding a steer. Somehow, I think they’ll work in a Larry Craig
reference at some point during this year’s competition.
Apart from the arena competitions, the rodeo features music,
line-dancing and two-stepping stages and nightly events at the rodeo’s
host hotel (The Washington Hyatt Regency) and at Remingtons, Capitol
Hill’s gay country & western bar. ASGRA welcomes all, even if they are
not familiar with rodeo. Expect to see plenty of real cowboys, urban
cowboys and camped-up fans of Brokeback Mountain.
TIckets for each day are $20 with weekend passes (including nightlife
events) available for $65. The Montgomery County Fairgrounds imposes a $10 daily parking fee for all events, but ASGRA is providing free
shuttle service to the fairgrounds from the Shady Grove Metro Station.
For more information, visit: www.asgra.org