Denver and Colorado are enriched by the contributions of both Grand Marshalls for the seventh RMR rodeo. Each man seems driven by his dream to help the community in which he lives, and each has given tirelessly of himself to make the dream a reality.
Wayne jakino was born in Durango, Colorado, and raised on a Ranch and Dairy Farm ten miles south of Durango. When it was time to go to college, he left the Western Slopes to attend Metropolitan State College in Denver, where he studied Art and Design. He also found the time in his busy life to attend Barnes College for a course of study in Business Administration.
After graduation, Mr. Jakino moved back to the southwest, where he owned and operated a restaurant and 3.2 club in Montrose, Colorado for five years.
Finally, in 1970, he moved to Denver to take a job with Foerster Designs, heading their new home projects. Five years later, he opened his own design firm: Jake Ltd. Designs. He was commissioned to design and furnish models for several of Denver's leading new home builders. A highlight of this portion of his life was designing Paul Harvey's office in Chicago.
Near the end of l984, influenced by his love of the Gay community, he sold his design business and joined the Charlie's operation as General Manager of the Denver bar.
A private man, Jakino came out to his family early on, but remained closeted in his business until 1981. This was a fateful year for both the Rodeo and Mr. Jakino as it was the year he discovered Gay Rodeo in Reno, Nevada. Prior to that, he had been a one to usually leave a bar holding a community function, show or benefit.
"1981 was a major turning point in my life," declares Jakino.
He became involved in the formation of the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association (CGRA), and was its first president. It was the discovery of the enjoyment to be found in working with and within the Gay community that inspired him to sell his business three years later.
Jakino has held a number of leadership positions over the years, and captured many honors in recognition of his contributions. He held the office of president of the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association for three years and was founding president of the International Gay Rodeo Association, serving in that role for two years. He served as Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo Director for the past six years. He was Chair of the Membership Committee of the International Gay Rodeo Association for two years. Finally, representing his community and business, he sits on the Board of Directors of Colfax on the Hill, one of Derwer's leading business associations.
We are proud to honor Mr. Jakino for all he has done to make Gay Rodeo the thriving institution it now is; we thank you Wayne and have a great rodeo!
With looks to rival those of the "Tall Dark and Handsome Man" of the gypsy fortune teller, julian Rush has been forced to deal with the adversity only homophobia can cause. This soft-spoken, blue eyed man has held a number of jobs in a variety of careers.
Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Rush first attended Millsaps College in Jackson, where he received a BA degree in philosophy and music. In response to an inner urging, he then went on to attend seminary school at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, achieving a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.), and a Sacred Theology Masters (STM) in conjunction with the Dallas Theater Center. In an attempt to win the "professional student of the decade" award, he also received a Masters degree in drama from the University of Denver.
Julian was married and is the father of two boys, aged 17 and 20. The eldest has been living with his father for the past four years.
He served as the Youth Minister in the Fort Worth First Methodist Church from 1964 to 1969, was minister for the First Methodist Church in Colorado Springs from 1972 to 1976, when he was transferred to the church in Boulder. He served in the Boulder First Methodist Church until 1982.
Julian came out in Boulder, creating a nationwide uproar. The Church held a tribunal in an attempt to oust him and was unsuccessful. Rush won the trial, because his accusers could unearth no proof of sexual activity. His congregation, however, remained unconvinced and stopped paying him. Eventually, he was moved by the Methodist Bishop to St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Denver, where he remains today, still unpaid.
To pay his bills, he took a job with Chrysalis, working with adolescents in prostitution. He remained there for a year, and increased his level of activities with the Gay Community Center of Colorado during that time. He moved to Emporia, Kansas for a year, where he had lined up a job as the director of a family counseling center. The offer was withdrawn when he arrived, due to the local newspaper headlines the day before his arrival, "Gay Minister Enrolls at College."
Left in the lurch, he took a job selling tires at the local Montgomery Wards. He remained at Wards for some time, returning to Denver and transferring to a Denver store.
He was hired part time to operate the newly begun Colorado AIDS Project (CAP) and held that position while continuing to work full time for Wards. The project job grew; he worked part time for Wards until CAP grew to the point where he was able to quit burning rubber.
Julian continues to serve as the executive director of the Colorado AIDS Project, speaking with elected officials, attending community meetings and adminitering the high volume of volunteers and phone calls the project receives.
"The more I'm impacted by the AIDS Crisis, the more intolerant I get of people in the closet, those people waiting for a rainy day to come out. The rainy day is here," says Rush, who approaches all adversity and problems with the same quiet pride and strength.
We are very pleased to have Julian Rush as a grand marhall for the Seventh Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo, a man of conviction and commitment.