This coming Sunday, This Is Life With Lisa Ling on CNN airs “Gay Rodeo” at 10PM ET/PT.
Via press release:
We all know the image of the American cowboy: He’s tough, self-reliant, stoic, the epitome of masculine. Could he be all that— and gay?
Lisa will explore the world of the International Gay Rodeo Association, which today has over 5,000 registered members.
Here, in Santa Fe, Lisa will meet people united by two unlikely qualities: their love of Western culture and their homosexuality.
Many have braved childhoods in the most homophobic regions of the country; some are still in the closet; and others are fastening their chaps for the very first time. But all are bucking stereotypes, proving that you don’t have to be straight to rope, ride, and wrestle a steer.
Ling will also be hosting a Twitter Town Hall live during the broadcast. Follow #ThisIsLife
The Los Angeles-based artist, who’s photographed everyone from Tom Cruise to Jane Fonda to Jane Lynch, captured the grit and glamour of the gay and lesbian rodeo circuit in the ’80s and ’90s. The gay cowboys and cowgirls challenged gender roles and reveled in competition and comraderie.
The exhibit, curated by Johanna Blume, opens February 1 and will be at the Eiteljorg until the summer Pride season.
“This exhibit also explores the diverse and complex natures of individual and community identity in the West,” Blume says. “Many of the people in these photos were LGBT men and women from rural backgrounds and the gay rodeo circuit gave them a place where they could embrace and celebrate their full identities.”
Rodeo Partners Gene Hubert and Rick Ferreira, Sun Valley, California, 1991, Blake Little
The Prayer, Rick Simmons, San Diego, California, 1991, Blake Little
Los Angeles Cowboys, Hollywood, California, 1990, Blake Little