Robert F. Craig, this year's Grand Marshall, is well known in the Southern California gay community as publisher of Frontiers and Los Angeles Dispatch. He has long been active in gay country, and nine years ago was instrumental in the organization of Pioneer Days, a country festival that has grown to be the second largest gay celebration in Southern California. Bob Craig gave the event its name! Mr. Craig also was a co-founder of the Valley Business Alliance, the sponsoring organization of Pioneer Days. The VBA has grown to represent more than 100 gay-owned and/or operated businesses in the San Fernando Valley.
He is also deeply involved in Christopher Street West, the sponsor organization of the annual Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival, and he is currently on its Board of Directors. Mr. Craig's involvement in CSW was interrupted by a foray into politics. He was a member and eventual Chair of the West Hollywood Incorporation Committee. Because of his position as publisher of one of the most widely read gay and lesbian newspapers, Frontiers, his influence was crucial in garnering public support for what was to become a milestone in personal freedom. West Hollywood, while not the "Gay City" it has been called, is certainly a place where personal dignity and freedom are not at risk due to sexual orientation. This is a place we can all be proud of, even those of us who do not reside within its boundaries.
His other commitments include: The Great American Yankee Freedom Band, Past President; International Gay and Lesbian Archives; One Institute; Society for Gay and Lesbian Senior Citizens (Project Rainbow); International Gay and Lesbian Press Association; and Greater Los Angeles AIDS Hospice Foundation, founder and currently President. He also supports numerous other civic and political organizations with both his time and money.
For his efforts on behalf of our community, Mr. Craig was elected "Man of the Year" by Christopher Street West in 1985, and the GSGRA is happy to further honor his public spirit by naming him Grand Marshall of this year's Rodeo.
Webmaster's note: Robert died from AIDS on April 30, 2000
This year we celebrate Rodeo '88 without one of our founders. Ron was part of the group that discussed Gay Rodeo in Southern California and decided to make it happen. He was on our Board of Directors until his death last summer from AIDS. Now we rodeo without Ron, but he is not forgotten. Ride'em Cowboy!