The International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) is an organization comprised of numerous regional Gay Rodeo Associations from across the United States and Canada. IGRA, in collaboration with member associations, assist in raising and donating thousands of dollars to charity in their communities each year. The Gay and Lesbian Communities of the United States and Canada have been enriched by the educational efforts of IGRA through its sanctioning and sponsorship of the various events and activities which are a part of what we call "Gay Rodeo".
Gay Rodeo had its beginnings in 1976 at the National Reno Gay Rodeo in Nevada. Over the next eight years local rodeo associations were formed in Colorado, Texas, California, and Arizona. In 1985, these four Gay Rodeo Associations along with Oklahoma founded the IGRA. From these beginnings, the IGRA has spread the Rodeo spirit across the United States and into Canada.
Through a Convention of its Member Associations, the IGRA has evolved a code of fellowship and good sportsmanship including the provision of standardized rules and resources for the production of rodeo events. IGRA-sanctioned rodeos are hosted by local associations each year and culminate in the World Gay Rodeo Finals where the top 20 contestants in each event compete for the title of International Champion. The IGRA has expanded its enrichment activities to include social Country & Western activities. Throughout the year, the regional associations sponsor dance competitions in preparation for the IGRA's annual International Dance Competition featuring the best men and women dancers from across the country.
Encouragement of honesty, good sportsmanship, and fair play has been the hallmark of the IGRA as it has sought to enrich and educate the Gay and Lesbian Community. The sometimes rough and rugged sport of Rodeo offers an appeal to the thousands of members of IGRA's regional associations. Through structured regional education programs and competition, our men and women have improved their skills and have learned good sportsmanship. The men and women of the IGRA have encouraged others to have and maintain a healthy respect for the well treatment of our animals that also participate in rodeo activities and are a critical part of this heritage.
The preparation and physical training for each rodeo that our men and women are involved in help to heighten our awareness of Gay Rodeo's responsibilities to the Gay and Lesbian Community. The IGRA and its regional associations have committed themselves to the raising of funds from their activities to distribute back into the community for charitable use. Over 2 million dollars, as reported by our Member Associations, has been raised and distributed who care for and seek cures for those with the HIV disease, as well as other emerging GBLT health and social welfare needs.
You will find our members come from the concrete canyons and mountains of our major cities, to the open plains, deserts, and natural mountains of our western regions, and from all careers and walks of life. Without regard to race, ethnic group, or sexual orientation, the men and women from within IGRA's Member Associations share and teach each other not only the skills and competitive fun of Rodeo, but also those of human fellowship and teamwork to accomplish whatever we set before ourselves as a goal.
Across the United States and Canada, the International Gay Rodeo Association brings to society as a whole, and the Gay and Lesbian Community in particular, the opportunity to experience Rodeo in many ways.
Check the listing of Member Associations on this Web site and we are sure you will find one near you. Join a regional rodeo association and experience Rodeo first hand. Become a member in preserving the heritage of the American Spirit in the Gay and Lesbian Community.