December 22, 1968 -
First attended a gay rodeo event in 1988
Jack Morgan was born and raised in the metro Denver area, the youngest of 4 children. He is fortunate, that although there was a short adjustment period to understand his sexual orientation, he has and has always had an amazingly supportive family, as well as an incredible network of long term friends and rodeo family.
Jack was introduced to gay rodeo in the late 1980's by Jerry Cunningham - who is like a brother to Jack - when Jack and Jerry were young and pretty, they actually modelled together for several years. Jack's initial volunteer experience was at RMRR 6, 30 years ago! Jack has been a member of CGRA ever since.
During subsequent years, Jack and his best friend Larry spent a lot of time volunteering in the Denver gay community, assisting in a multitude of ways with a plethora of community organizations, including LGBT youth groups, CAP, Meals on Wheels, as well as the HRC, where they were table captains for many years.
Jack loves to dance, and in the early 1990's, became a member of Charlies' Country Cloggers team, travelling throughout the U.S. performing at rodeos and other events, including Aspen Ski Week, which remains one of Jack's fondest memories of that period.
In 1997, Jack relocated to Minnesota with his work as a Regional Director for Just For Feet. Knowing no one in the Twin Cities area, Jack sought out the local country bar, where he soon met Dot Trevis who introduced him to the North Star Gay Rodeo Association (NSGRA). Jack quickly became involved with NSGRA, participating in many ways including a stint as the Secretary of their Board of Directors. Dot actively encouraged Jack to fulfill his desire to become a certified official as an IGRA Rodeo Judge. Jack entered the Judge program in the early part of this millennium, and was mentored by two people that he now considers sisters, Amy and Rick.
In 2002, Jack had an opportunity to move home to Denver, where he became active with CGRA once more. That homecoming was short lived, however, as Jack's career took him back to Minnesota in 2004, where he again became involved with the NSGRA, and rejoined their Board of Directors.
In 2006, Jack's job as Director of Retail Operations for Yankee Candle took him to the Washington, DC area, where he quickly joined and became involved with the Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association (ASGRA). It was during this time that Jack met his great friend Scott, with whom he would spend weekends dancing the nights away at Remington's on Capitol Hill.
In 2010, thanks to his close friend Paul, Jack had an opportunity to move home to Denver again, which he happily jumped at. What do you suppose happened once Jack was home in Denver? Yep, right back in to a whirlwind of activity with CGRA.
Jack has held many positions within CGRA, including Trustee, By-Laws Chair, and Sponsorship Chair. Jack has done a phenomenal job as Sponsorship Chair, raising over $50,000 in the past two years alone. Many have suggested that this position become a "life sentence" for Jack, to which he demurely declines. Additionally, Jack has worked as a rodeo judge at more than 200 rodeos, including the 2014 Gay Games, held in Cleveland/Akron, Ohio. One of Jack's fondest memories as a rodeo judge was having been "White Hatted" at the 10th Canadian Rockies International Rodeo in 2003. This ceremony certifies a visiting dignitary as an Honorary Calgarian, and is a huge honor. In honor of the 10th year of CRIR, the ARGRA board and CRIR rodeo officials were white hatted together in what is believed to be the largest ceremony of its type ever.
On the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) level as well, Jack has been very involved for many many years. He has been, and is currently Co-Chair of the IGRA Judges Committee, and Co-Chair of the IGRA Rodeo Officials Committee.
If that weren't enough, Jack also served on the Board of the Gay & Lesbian Rodeo Heritage Foundation for several years, during which he also served as Co-Chair for their annual Paladin Awards Dinner, raising funds for the organizations charitable work.
Most recently, Jack received three enormous honors from CGRA. In 2016 he gained the status of Lifetime Member, and in 2017, he was the recipient of the annual President's Award. Additionally, Jack was named Grand Marshall at RMRR 32, in 2018.
Here's how he responded when notified of his selection as Grand Marshall:
"I can honestly say that my 30 year journey has profoundly affected and impacted my life; the journey and friends I've made have influenced me and my life in ways I will never be able to explain. I am truly humbled to be your Grand Marshall this weekend. I have an amazing life, and it may sound cliché, but the truth is that it's because of each and every one of you that I proudly show up year after year, rodeo after rodeo. So from the bottom of my heart... Thank You!!!"
The same sentiments certainly hold true today, as he is inducted in to the IGRA Hall of Fame, an immense honor, of which he is both humbled and proud.
30 years of rodeo seems like such a long time, but the old adage certainly rings true - 'Time flies when you are having fun!'
At the time of his induction into this hall of fame, Jack resides with his partner Jeff, and their two canine companions in Commerce City, Colorado.