I still remember my first time. I was 24 and after months of renovating my first condo I decided to get out of town for the Canada day long weekend and go to the gay rodeo at Simon's Valley Ranch. I was still not out at home or at work and knew no one else who was going. I had a knot in my stomach the whole way down. What was it going to be like? Would I make friends? Would I get laid?
My first gay rodeo changed my life. It showed me there was no one way to be gay and that there are others like me. I never thought I would find a home or family through it but I did. I have never met a group of people so open and welcoming to everyone who came through the gates. In the many years that have passed we have loved, fucked, cheered, cried, consoled, bled and competed.
Between dodging tornadoes, surviving the eagle's free booze tents, jello shooters, winning, losing and riding a steer in a (fabulous) dress in front of my bio family (including my Grandparents) my life has been enormously enriched by the hard work of the Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo Association and it's members.
With the confirmation that ARGRA is no more I want to send out a sincere thanks to everyone who worked so much to give me a place I could find a family in.
I love you thank you.
When a gay organization ends there is always speculation and what ifs and a million armchair volunteers with opinions about how they could have done it better.
I know our family is hurting right now for many reasons. But family exists to support. each other So please when you look out at your community, your adopted queer families ask your self. Am I doing enough? Am I involved enough? Am I helping to create a world where queer kids growing up will have it better than me? Am I building the family or tearing it down?
Our community groups need more than $ to survive. They need most importantly your time, your commitment and your ideas. Events of the last week have made it so very clear to me that we need strong queer: community groups, safe places, bars, coffee shops and charities to support those still trying to find themselves.
So please go out this weekend and the weekend after that and the weekend after that.
Get involved. Volunteer. Mentor. And above all else LOVE with every ounce of energy you can muster. #liveproud