The International Gay Rodeo Association (www.igra.com) has officially been ropin’ along since 1985 and currently has over 5000 members in 27 chapters all around North America. The association puts on massive rodeos across North America using only volunteers — and all their proceeds go to charity.

Each rodeo has 13 events, 10 you’ll find at most standard rodeos (bull riding, chuteIGRA-logo.gif-dogging, breakaway roping, barrel racing, etc) and 3 playful “camp” events that give the 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. In fact, the IGRA rodeos are open to everyone — gay, straight, cowboys and city-folk alike. But unlike traditional rodeos, the IGRA allows women and men to compete in all 13 events, and it’s common for women to ride bulls and men to barrel race, something you’d never see at a “straight rodeo”

The IGRA promotes amateur participation in its rodeos, partly through the “rodeo schools” it hosts throughout the year so novices can learn firsthand all the basics of how to rodeo.

But the members who comprise the association are what truly set the IGRA apart. They are the most organically kind, welcoming and charitable group of people director Matt Livadary has ever met — and he’s honored to share their stories.

To learn more about gay rodeo, visit www.igra.com