Top Home
July, 2006
The Italian gay monthly, #85
First posted Nov 26, 2017
Last update Nov-26-2017
Of Interest
A transcript of the following article is available below
Transcript of the above article

Brokeback Cowboy

OCR Transcript by Google Translate, Nov 26, 2017

Valeno Bartolucc1

The Brokeback Mountain movie has brought cowboys and their gay community back to fashion world. Better if it's gay cowboys which really exist in the rural states of the USA, and they certainly did not need it film to organize. And give life even to a circuit of ... rodei gay. Here's what it is.

The story told by Brokeback mauntain begins in 1963 and develops for all the sixties.

1963 is the year of the assassination of Kennedy, followed a few years later from that of Martin Luther King. All the United States is pervaded by a wind of renewal, of civil rights, of protests against the war in Vietnam and extreme pacifism, but our two heroes seem unaware of the time they are living, as suspended in an era indefinite. It was Wyoming then, but it has changed little! This is exactly the impression that you will receive by taking a trip in the southern states: countries and campaigns that look stale at one hundred years it does, never locked houses, simple folks talking with that accent which in New York or Las Angeles is so crazy.

They are hillybilly or redneck, insults that correspond to our "terrone" that the wealthy, cultured, and industrialized North had impressed the people of these parts. If you see Brockeback Mountain in original version you will discover that Del Mar speaks in an almost incomprehensible way, sketched and unstructured: it is a redneck (farmer) and for him the instruction was and is an unreachable option.

The states of the north, with the excuse to release the slaves but with the intention to supply cheap labor for the newborns Chicago and Detroit industries, had left the poor south without schools and no infrastructures. Yet, this south so damned he was able to give the world a musical heritage perhaps unique: jazz, blues, country & western, bluegrass, gospel, zydeco and cajun to make the most striking examples.

Despite this, from the seventies it had become one shame coming from Texas, West Virginia or worse from Carolina or namely from Wyoming, he was a landowner or a former slave nigger who spoke only of bible and honest work.

The first thing to do was lose the accent so deprecated, then losing that kind innocent kindness in these people, finally become a pretentious and supposed "chicagoer" or "newyorker". Thanks to Hollywood movies (and also to our exceptional "spaghetti") western"), only one figure had been saved from this marginalization: that of the cowboy, who had been protected by an aura of holiness and of respectability, but only for the time these genres lasted, then they too were relegated to an attic.

Life, however, has continued, the south has uncovered oil and some industry has begun to flourish, at least in part sanctioning the situation economic.

What has not changed is the degree of education, definitely more low compared to other states, which has allowed to the right of Republican Party to the Baptist Church and to the Catholic Church to make up here are the cornerstones of their policy.

That is why it is obvious that homosexual rights are not to be talked about, indeed, here is not even talk of homosexuality: no local, no associations, no rights, only some furtive look at the cesses and parks where to beat. This was a bit the situation when in 1976 some courageous people organized in the town of Reno, Nevada, the first gay rodeo to benefit from the Association for Muscular Dystrophy. The spectators did not exceed the lucky number one, but the organizers did not lose their minds and the following year they organized another and then another. They also founded the first association of gay cowboys.

They did it for personal choice, to engrave in a company that had them until then confined. They did not do it for fashion, but for a passion and for a common background. Of course they could not imagine success that the gay rodeos would get in the years to come. After thirty years, the associations have multiplied, and now they are present in most American and Canadian states. Not there is a lot of difference between a rodeo hetero and a gay: even the supplier of animals is the same.

Tangible differences are important. The first is that women can participate in all events, including the bronze riding bareback or the horse riding and the bu1l riding. So you can admire the beautiful and good Usa LeeAnn Dalton who is not allowed to compete in the other rodeo, probably because no so-called ethereal cowboy could overcome the emotional impact of being beaten by a woman, and more so beautiful and feminine.

The second difference is that even non-professionals can compete. They are provided with helmet and padded dress, and one special blessing on the part of the minister of some episcopal church local.

If you want to participate, you just have to show up the night before the beginning of the rodeo and sign up ... easier than that!

The last difference is perhaps the most gay. In addition to classical roping, steer riding and all the others, two called events have been added goat dressing and wild drag.

In goat dressing, a two-person team must put a pair of Dolce and Gabbana underwear to a goat, while in the wild drag, with a team consisting of a man, a woman and a third companion (who must wear a wig and a suit of fantasy), the couple must help the uneducated to mount a calf and on that run a few meters.

More than four thousand spectators attended the rodeo organized for the first time by the FGRA (Florida gay rodeo association) at the end in March in the city of Davie, a few miles from the "gay mecca" of Fort Lauderdale, and preparations are already underway for the next year. The photos you see I took them there. Every month there are at least three rodeos in the various states, whose dates can be find on the internet, waiting for the final that will take place in the natural homeland of this event: in Reno (Nevada), precisely. We are waiting for you there!

Not just rodeo

Although for decades there are country & western dance schools within the gay american community, the wave of the success of Brokeback Mountain and other films such as Adam and Steve has brought a lot of people back to this style of music.

In every city, not only in the south but also in the north, you can find places to dance the more traditional two steps or the modern ones group dancing (line dance).

Indeed, after the sunset of traditional discos, these have become the most trendy places "where you want to be". Every weekend, working hours, accountants and engineers take off the tie and wear a shirt with the sleeves cut and head of a straw hat, yet cast elaborate choreography that reminds Seven Brides for seven brothers.

One of the "big favorites" is the erotic shadow dance where two cowboys dance in a sinuous way, with steps they remember la / ainbada.

There are many choreographic groups that are composed of gays participating to the various dance championships that take place during the year thank you to the opportunity given by the "only men" category and "only women".

During the summer will take place in the capital, Washington, the championship annual country dances, where the gay group of Fort Lauderdale of Crossfire led by Lee Foxx will have to defend the title, conquered last year, in front of an almost-number twice as much as the previous edition.

A strange odd thing that is giving to think of many is the fact that country & western demand has steadily increased even in the homeless population. You think Brokeback mountain has some kind of secondary genre, relegated to the states of the "deep south" and connected with the redneck, or "red hills" because of the position always china hired during work in the sun. Rednecks represent the poorest and most acuminic part of rural America.

Approaching has also been made possible by the explosion in contemporary of a group of comedians declaring redneck, who behind a supposed ignorance hide a grandiose comic. Tom White, one of the greatest exponents of this current says: "My brother and I are very different example, my brother is definitely homophobic .... I instead each in the morning I get up and ... I'm surprised not to be gay."