IGRA is Breaking Stereotypes
IGRA, the International Gay Rodeo Association®, has officially been ropin’ and ridin’ since 1985 and currently has over 5,000 members in 25 local associations around North America. We are the largest organization in the world coordinating rodeo events specifically welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender 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 contestants, regardless of sexual and gender identity, to 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.
IGRA has a long and rich history of full inclusion for all people
IGRA fully embraces, encourages and supports gender equality and sexual orientation equality at all levels of leadership, participation and competition. We do not, nor have we ever, discriminated due to race, color, age, country of origin, or ability challenges.
IGRA lives these policies at our rodeo, royalty and dance events through our rules and regulations that provide opportunities for participation in competition. Here are some specific examples of how we break through typical stereotypes:
- Both men and women, regardless of orientation, ride the same rough stock livestock under the same rules and requirements. Unlike most other rodeo organizations, in IGRA both men and women alike fully compete in bull riding and bronc riding.
- In IGRA team events, such as Team Roping, Steer Decorating, Wild Drag Race and Goat Dressing men and women can create teams of any combination of gender that they desire, within the minimum rules of competition.
- In the Wild Drag race we celebrate the contributions of “drag” by incorporating the fundamentals of female impersonation into a dangerous rough and tumble event that brings together a woman, a man and person of either gender in drag.
- IGRA has a diverse leadership group in the certified and operational disciplines such as rodeo directors, arena crews, scorekeepers, judges, trustees , chute crew, announces and support.
Rodeo Events: Everything You Expect in Rodeo, Yet Much More!
Each rodeo has 13 events, ten you’ll find at most standard rodeos (bull riding, chute-dogging, breakaway roping, barrel racing, etc) and three playful “camp” events that give IGRA a fun and unique flare you won’t find anywhere else. You don’t have to be gay to compete in the gay rodeo – IGRA rodeos are open to everyone – gay, straight, cowboys and city-folk alike. But unlike traditional rodeos, IGRA encourages both women and men to compete in all 13 events – so in the IGRA you get to see, for instance, women bull riding and men barrel racing. IGRA promotes amateur participation in its rodeos partly by the “rodeo schools” it hosts throughout the year so novices can learn first-hand how to rodeo.
Competitors compete for prize money and the title of All Around Cowboy and Cowgirl at each rodeo. The winners of each event receive trophy buckles designed by the hosting association. At season’s end the contestants with the highest points in each event receive invitations to the World Gay Rodeo Finals® presented by IGRA.
Giving Back to Our Community
In addition to the sport of rodeo, the original intent of these rodeos was and still remains fundraising. The money raised at the rodeo is donated to the designated charities of each association. While highly competitive and structured, rodeos still serve the primary purpose of being fundraisers. In total IGRA and all the associated associations have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in furthering the individual causes of all charities that are benefactors of rodeo funds. “We are all part of a rodeo family.”
The International Gay Rodeo Association is a safe place, where all genders and orientations are celebrated and welcomed. We are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers, straight and gay. We are diverse. We truly represent every color of the rainbow. Come play with us and be yourself, without fear of prejudice or discrimination.
If you are not a member of an IGRA recognized association, click here to join KSGRA now.