Interview with Ron Trusley

Denver, Colorado on November 23, 2019 | Interviewer: Rebecca Scofield

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Saraya Flaig: This is Saraya Flaig and I’m here with Ron Trusley at the International Gay Rodeo Convention in Denver, Colorado, on November 23rd, 2019. So, Ron, what year were you born?
Ron Trusley: Oh, if you really want to know, 1943.
SF: And where did you grow up?
RT: Uh, in Oklahoma until was about 14. And I’ve been in Arizona since then.
SF: Did you grow up in a pretty rural area, at all?
RT: It wasn’t rural, but it was a very small town. Maybe at the time the population was possibly 1,500 or less.
SF: And did your parents, or your family, do any ranching or farming of any kind?
RT: My parents were farmers, but I didn’t grow up on a farm. My mom and dad had separated, and we had moved to town when I was five years old.
SF: And what was your family like growing up? What was your childhood like?
RT: I would say it was a happy time. We didn’t have a lot, but my mom worked hard to support us. So, we were a happy family, got along well. No issues.
SF: And you said you moved to Arizona later on. What was that change like for you?
RT: Well, it was a big change coming from a very small town. My mom remarried and that’s when we moved to Arizona. Then we were living on farms in Arizona because my stepdad worked on the farms in Arizona. They were basically cotton farmers. So, that was a big change for me, living actually in the country, rather than in a small town. And the weather, of course, was so different than Oklahoma, so it took a little while to get used to it.
SF: Did you ever help out on the farm at all?
RT: Not actually helping on the farm. When I was, I guess in high school probably, there were a couple of years that to make some money, I did what we call to chop cotton. And did that. But, as far as actual work on a farm, no.
SF: And how did you eventually find the gay rodeo?
RT: Now, that is a very interesting question. The Arizona Gay Rodeo Association started in Arizona in 1984 actually, but it officially became incorporated in January 1985. Well, September 1985, I heard about the square dance group, Midnight Ramblers, that was part of the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association. I was already in another square dance group, The Desert Valley Squares, in town and I was a founding member of that. In order to be a member of the Midnight Ramblers square dance group, you had to be a member of the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association. So, I joined the rodeo association so I could audition for the square dance group, and that was my beginning of involvement in gay rodeo.
SF: So, you said you started another square-dancing group. What was that like?
RT: I didn’t actually start it; I was a founding member of it. And it was just a time to be with people that I could really identify with, and have some fun at the same time, and exercise as well. So, it was it was really a good experience to start to get out more in public, with other people, doing the same things that we liked.
SF: How did you originally come to start dancing, or start square dancing?
RT: That was – I started just starting to be part of this square dance group, because I’d never danced before.
SF: Was there anyone that brought you in? Or you just wanted to learn to dance?
RT: It was so long ago – I think it was just a group of us that decided to do it. And we formed the association.
SF: And then, you wanted to join the gay rodeo square dancing group, so do you identify as gay, then?
RT: I did.
SF: And what was that coming out process like for you?
RT: Well, actually, I probably didn’t truly come out until I was maybe 25, because I had actually never been to a bar in my life. I knew nothing about alcohol, I didn’t even know what drinks there were. I knew a little about beer, but I’d never had anything. So, I was working for state government, and I went with some people to a bar one night. But I didn’t know anything about drinking, so they said, “Well, try scotch and water.” That’s actually how I started getting involved in that way.
SF: Is your family very religious at all? Did you grow up religious?
RT: Yes. Yes, we – I grew up Southern Baptist when I was in Oklahoma. And then, eventually after moving to Arizona, over the years, then I became involved in and started identifying more as Pentecostal Holiness. So, yeah, my family, for the most part, we were. Not all my older brothers and sisters were, but my mom, my younger sister, and I were.
SF: Are you still pretty religious today?
RT: Well, I would say there is a big difference in religion and Christianity. I don’t go to church regularly, but I still consider myself Christian. In that aspect, yes, very much so. But I think religion is just a term that people – we use so often when we really mean are we Christian, and what is our belief?
SF: So, when you first joined the gay rodeo association as square dancing, what was the rodeo association like at that time?
RT: It was just starting, as I said, in Arizona. And the membership when they started was not a large number – I don’t remember exactly what it was. But it was very accepting of everybody. You felt welcome; you felt a part of it. Because after I joined the square dancing group – the association and the square dancing group – it was interesting that it was not very long after that that the association board asked me, just on the spot, to be the parliamentarian sergeant at arms. So that was how, then, that I further got involved in rodeo.
SF: Did you ever attend any of the gay rodeos, right in the beginning, when you first joined?
RT: Oh, when I first joined? Yeah, I started going to rodeos right away. But before that, I had never been to a rodeo in my life. I didn’t know anything about rodeo, so it was all brand new.
SF: What was that first rodeo experience like for you?
RT: I guess I could say it must have been really rewarding, it was something that I thought I would really enjoy, because I’ve kept involved all these years and I’ve not regretted it.
SF: Mm-hum. Did you ever participate in any of the events?
RT: A few times. I’m not really a rodeo contestant as much as staff, and things like that. But yeah, there were a few times I did roping on foot. I did the camp events, steer decorating, goat dressing, wild drag racing. I never did any horse events or rough stock riding events, anything like that. I did in a rodeo school one time, just practice. Tried steer riding one time. That was it.
SF: Have you ever been injured doing any events?
RT: Well, when I tried to steer ride, just for practice, I was – it could be considered an injury. It wasn’t really severe, it was just hitting the ground hard enough that for several weeks, or a few months, I was pretty sore. My back was pretty banged up. But, as far as a really substantial injury, no.
SF: Did you ever win anything, or did you just compete more for fun?
RT: I never won anything, but it was fun. Yeah.
SF: Um, what was it like originally getting involved on the administrative side?
RT: Well, as I said, when they started, they asked me to be the Sergeant in Arms Parliamentarian for the local association, and then from there, I eventually started getting involved as the local Secretary. And then, a few years later, I don’t remember exact year – I should. Then at the international level, when I started going to conventions right away, then I got involved in secretarial work. We have a certification program for all of our efficiencies.
RT: So, when we started the certification program – and, again, I can’t remember when it was, but it was a long time ago – I was grandfathered in, initially, in the certification program as Secretary of Support Team. And then, from there, when there was an opening, I ran for the position of International Secretary. And I became the Secretary, where I served for over 14 years in that position. And then, I was out of it for four or five years, maybe. About two years ago and now – two or three – I came back for about a year and a half and then I resigned.
SF: So, did you come back as the International Secretary?
RT: Yes.
SF: So, what’s the difference between being a secretary at a local level and then at the international level?
RT: There’s a big difference. Locally, you’re doing the secretarial work just for your local association. At the international level, you’re doing more things that relate to all of our member associations within the international organization. And a big part of that is preparing for conventions, making sure everything’s in order. And then, at the convention, getting our rodeo rules book, our bylaws, our standing rules prepared for dissemination to everybody.
SF: When was the first convention that you attended, if you remember? And what was it like?
RT: I think, it probably – I may be wrong, but I thought I went to the first one in 1986. It was very small, as I remember. They were not very many of us. So, it was an eye opener, but it was the beginning stages for really getting into everything. Like, folks that you probably heard during the convention floor today when Roger Bergman mentioned the rule book, our rodeo rule book, way back when, how small it was? Yeah, it’s really grown. So, it’s been interesting to see how we were so small and had such a small number of rules in the beginning, to 2019 and the changes in the rules.
SF: What do you think is one of the most interesting rule debates you’ve seen in the past?
RT: It would depend how you defined interesting.
SF: For you.
RT: Well, I’ll put it this way, chute dogging over the years has been controversial. For several conventions, every year there would be a debate about the chute dogging rule, and it would change. Then we’d come back the next year and sometimes we’d change it back again, or we would change it differently to move forward. So, I would say that’s probably been the most interesting. But in the beginning, also we had an event called Wild Cow Milking. That’s been eliminated and now we have Wild Drag Race, which is similar but has several differences.
SF: Can you tell me a little bit about Wild Cow Milking? I haven’t heard about that one yet.
RT: Not many people have. As I recall, it was a two-person team, and there was the cow. And they had to go out and one would hold the cow. Somebody else would have the pail, and they would actually have to milk the cow a little bit, to get some milk in the bucket, to get a time. And it was a timed event, whoever could do this first had the best time.
SF: Do you know why that event went away?
RT: I really don’t. I think people just thought it was time for a change, for something different.
SF: How have you seen conventions change over the years, from your position?
RT: There’s a lot more participation from individuals now. I think, more often than not, there is more interest shown in adopting our new rules, or rule changes. There are a lot more actual rodeo contestants than there were in the beginning, who are showing an interest. I think, personally, I see sometimes that some of the contestants who also participate in non-gay rodeos, the professional rodeos, that they would like to see us move more toward the professional rodeo rules. But we advertise ourselves as amateurs, and we consider our events as amateur sports events, so I think it’s not a conflict, but just sometimes just the – the differences that I see, it seems that some of the people want to move forward quicker than others do. And it’s having to come to that compromise and see when, and where, and how do we get there.
SF: What personally would you like to see? Would you like to see it go more of a professional route or stay as it is?
RT: Personally, I would like to see it stay like it is, I think. Because if we went too much on the professional side, we’re going to lose contestants. And now this is people who maybe have never participated in a rodeo, they see what’s going on and they think, “That’s something I would like to do.” And it’s happened time and time again that new contestants will start in some of the speed events and then they will work their way up to, maybe, steer riding, roping, things like that. So, I really think that we can keep getting more contestants and support the contestants we have now if we stay more at the amateur level. And keep making our own rules that fit and work for us.
SF: How did you see the organization change over the years in terms of diversity?
RT: As far as diversity, we don’t have the diversity of ethnic groups that we should have. And I don’t know what the cause is. I think sometimes – unfortunately, I think nationwide, we still tend to segregate ourselves a lot. And I don’t know if maybe some of the other athletes like the blacks are afraid to – I mean, we have some, and they’re all accepted. I mean, we get along very well. So, diversity, I think we need more females, and we’re trying to get more females involved. But it’s difficult. And nobody has come up with the real solution with how to do it. We tried the outreach.
SF: Were there a lot of females back when you first started participating?
RT: There were not a lot, but there was a good number, several of them who were really good contestants.
SF: Do you think women should be allowed to participate in the rough stock events?
RT: Oh, I definitely do. I think it should be equal all around. Females should have the same opportunities as a male. If they choose to do it, and accept the risk, then yes, people should.
SF: In your position as secretary for either the Arizona association or IGRA, what are some changes that you made personally to the association or contributed?
RT: Well, locally, I’ll take responsibility for writing a lot of our local bylaws. And then, besides being the secretary at the local level, I’ve moved positions such as Vice-President, President, Rodeo Director, and currently I’m the President and Rodeo Director for the local association. At the international level, I think I was able to contribute a lot when I was the secretary. One way that I was able to, I think – and maybe it sounds bragging, but I’ll do it anyway – because I am able to do actual shorthand, which is almost unheard of now, I was able to really do a lot more in notes. And it was easier for me to do that, and to be able to go back and read it. So, I think I was able to contribute in that way, that you didn’t have to wait so long to have something written. We could keep moving forward in the meetings.
SF: You said you’re President of the Arizona association, so what, um, what years were you President?
RT: Well, uh, I don’t know. I was before different times and then I was – it’s confusing because when I had moved to Trustee for our Arizona Gay Rodeo Association at the international level, I served in that position for, I think, nine years. So, I couldn’t be Secretary anymore. And then, at the local level, as Trustee to international, I couldn’t be President of the association. So now, I am back as President. This is my… I think third – third or fourth year, consecutive year – and I have one more year before we have elections again.
SF: So, what are some changes that you made to your local association as president?
RT: I think – and, again, maybe I’m bragging – but I think that I have been able to get a lot more members coming to our membership meetings, and be involved, because I have encouraged them over and over again in writing, in our newsletter, monthly newsletter, and in person at our meetings, that this is your association. And even if you have an opinion, and if our board does not agree with you, or nobody agrees, you’re entitled to your opinion. And I want to hear what you have to say. And every time I write my articles for the monthly newsletter, I always end with, “If you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions, contact me.”
RT: And I give my email address and phone number every time. So, I think that open line of communication, or encouraging it, I’ve been able to do that. And to me, that’s more important – or very important – because if I, as the leader/CEO of the group, or whatever you want to call it, if I cannot encourage the members to be involved and listen to them, then it’s not a member association and I have no right to be in that leadership position.
SF: Um-hum. Have you received any good suggestions before?
RT: Yes. I’m trying to think of – I know I have, as well as some things that were not so good. But I listened, and I’ll go to the board if we need to. “Can we do this? Is this something that will work for us?” And it doesn’t always work, but yeah….
SF: How have you seen the Arizona chapter change, specifically, over time, since you’ve been involved?
RT: A lot of our members who were involved and that we had in the beginning years have either moved away and chosen not to renew their membership, or they are still local, but they just have gone down other avenues and are not wanting to be involved in rodeo anymore. I’ve seen a lot of new faces coming in; people coming in, sometimes with some new ideas, a lot of questions, and showing that they want to be involved. What I’m seeing is – and it’s not just in Arizona, I think, it seems everywhere – that we all have difficulty recruiting and getting younger people involved.
RT: And I think it’s just a change everywhere that the younger people, now, because all the social media and everything, they have other ways to meet people and be involved, whereas way back, years ago, that was the one major outlet we could have to meet people and to be involved with people. So, I’ve seen – I guess that’s the biggest change, you know, the makeup of the membership. And we still struggle to get a lot of females involved. And, unfortunately, sometimes I hate to see it, but sometimes it seems that a member may not get his or her way, think what they want to do is the right thing, and the board doesn’t, or the membership doesn’t agree, and they leave. And it saddens me when that happens because, as a member association, stay there and work. Try to get what you think is right accomplished.
SF: What are some things that, specifically the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association, makes it unique or that Arizona would like to see on an international level?
RT: Well, I think the rodeo that we produce every year is one big thing that makes us unique. We use now, and we have for years, a Mexican arena – charro arena – that’s kind of a round arena. But, because, when we did our first rodeo in 1986, we could not find any venue that would accept us because of a gay group. So, Coronas opened up their venue to us and treated us like family and now we’re able – at that arena, they have a huge indoor pavilion. And behind that is an outdoor, like, huge cement slab. So, inside we’re able to do parties, dancing inside, entertainment while the rodeo is going on outside. And we’re able to keep people there – keep them involved. And I think that’s one thing that really makes us unique, is that we can do everything right there. Plus, we now, for the last few years, we have come up with the idea of party buses, and people can buy their tickets and ride to the rodeo and back, so they don’t have to worry about driving.
RT: And we’re able to keep people there to just drink, have a good time dancing, whatever. And there’s a huge stage in the pavilion so we can bring in entertainers – we have our own local entertainers. And, in addition to that, and it’s not really so much that we’re unique in this way, but I think we are in the fact that we probably have more vendors at our rodeo than most rodeos do. And we’re able to have them in places inside the pavilion and the outside as well. So, we’re serving our alcohol at the bar inside, and then we have a beer truck outside as well. I think that helps with a lot, that we’re just able to do everything right there.
SF: Do you have a favorite rodeo memory from that – were you at the first rodeo that Arizona put on?
RT: Yes.
SF: Do you have a favorite memory from that?
RT: Well, not from the first one. And I have a favorite memory, but it’s not a pleasant memory: one rodeo, and it was probably in the ‘80s – mid to late ‘80s or early ‘90s. The weather in Phoenix is usually really good. We do rodeos now in February. We changed a few years ago, but they used to be January. Well, one year it actually snowed. And there was so much ice. I was secretary at that rodeo, and we didn’t have an enclosed area to work. So, go out in the morning, just ice all over the tables. I tried to work with gloves, I couldn’t. And I remember saying, “I will never be secretary of this rodeo again if I work outside.” So that’s one of – probably the best memory I have. That’s kind of an interesting one.
SF: How have you seen – how has planning the rodeo changed from that first rodeo or any planning you were involved in in the ‘80s to this upcoming rodeo?
RT: To me, I think we probably have more of a committee make-up that makes the decisions for the rodeo – not all of them, some, of course, the Rodeo Director makes, or the Rodeo and Assistant Rodeo Directors make. But that’s probably the biggest change I’ve seen. What we’ve done, different people and having them do different tasks. Let’s assign someone as Vendor Coordinator, Entertainment Coordinator, Awards Coordinator, things like that.
SF: You mentioned camp events earlier. Do you like the camp events?
RT: I do. I think they’re very entertaining and when the public comes, especially if they’ve never been to a rodeo, it’s exciting for them to see all this going on. You know, they’re interesting. And what a lot of people sometimes – not so much anymore, I guess, it’s just certain groups – will think it’s abuse of the animals because of way we do the event. And it’s not because IGRA, at the international level and local, is all about animal welfare and not mistreating them in any way.
RT: So, I think the camp events are very interesting. It’s exciting when, for example, in Wild Drag Race, when the drag is getting on the steer and having to stay up there to get across the line. Maybe you fall off, your partner helps you get back on, and back and forth until the time runs out. So, that’s probably, to me, the most interesting next to Goat Dressing. And that’s another fun one.
SF: Have you ever participated in the Wild Drag Race?
RT: Just a few times before.
SF: What role did you play?
RT: I think I did – held a steer most of the time.
SF: So, you were never the drag?
RT: I don’t believe so, no. That’s just not me.
SF: What do you think of royalty in the rodeo and the role that they play?
RT: I think our royalty people are very integral, a very important part, a necessary part. Because I look at them as goodwill ambassadors for the association, and they are our major fundraisers. They have that expertise to entertain crowds and to bring in money. So, without them, I think we would be hurting ourselves.
SF: How have you seen the role of royalty change in the rodeo over time?
RT: Well, we used to have the Miss and Mr. category, and Mrs. We have now, Mr., Mrs., and Miss, and a MisTer, a drag king. So that’s the biggest change, that we’ve added that category a few years ago.
SF: What do you think of those new categories?
RT: I think it’s essential to have it, because – just the community is everywhere. It’s in other associations, the Pride associations have categories such as that. So, to stay up with the times, and to be inclusive, and to let everybody who wants to be a part, I think it’s absolutely essential.
SF: How long have those categories existed?
RT: Oh… Well, our MisTer, we added that just a few – I can’t remember, maybe three or four years ago. But, the Miss and Mr., I think have been in existence pretty much since we started the royalty. And it wasn’t as much competition way back in the early days as it is now. It was, but not to the extent it is now. So, probably in some form or other, we’ve had those categories since 1987, probably. A long time.
SF: Yeah. Have you had a lot of participation in the Mrs. and MisTer categories, specifically, since they’ve been added?
RT: In our local or at the international level?
SF: Um, both.
RT: Locally, we’ve always had, or generally had, a good response for the Miss, the drag queen category, and the Mr. And occasionally the Mrs. We did, one year – or a couple years – we had the MisTer, a drag king. So, that’s one that’s getting more people involved now. At the international level, we now have a MisTer 2020 and a first runner up. So, more people are starting to see the importance and how they can be involved. So, I think it’s growing, and it’s gonna continue to grow.
SF: You mentioned earlier, you said you were a scorekeeper at one point, for the rodeo. Do you still do score keeping?
RT: No. I was scorekeeper and Secretary, both. I’ve done both. But no, I – we have to recertify every year, and I chose not to recertify for 2020.
SF: How long have you been scorekeeping for? What years did you score keep for?
RT: Well, when the certification program began, again, I think – I can’t remember the year, I should – but it was maybe ‘87, ‘88. Way back. I was grandfathered in as scorekeeper and secretary. So, from then until through 2019, I had those positions.
SF: What made you interested in scorekeeping?
RT: I don’t know. I really don’t know. I guess just because – and I prefer the secretary position over scorekeeper, very much so. I guess maybe what had a lot to do with it was, because of my professional work: working in offices and having worked in positions with classification, and – I don’t think it exists anywhere anymore – as an actual secretary or clerk typist, and things like that, and just having the experience from the office atmosphere, probably is what made me more interested. And knowing that was a way that I could participate, and I could give back something.
SF: So, what do you do outside of the gay rodeo? You mentioned it a little bit.
RT: Well, I’m actually retired from state service, state government, but I work out of my house now, fortunately, as executive director for a tribal workforce group in Arizona.
SF: So, what does that entail?
RT: I do research. I plan all our meetings. I coordinate an annual conference every December. I attend meetings on behalf of our chairperson or on behalf of myself. I am responsible for ensuring that minutes are done and distributed from every meeting.
SF: So, kinda similar to your work with IGRA and your local association. Is that why you originally decided to get involved as secretary?
RT: I think so. Because of my previous work and, actually, of course, when I started doing it, I was still working. I had not retired. So, I think that’s it. Because it’s something I knew I could do; it was kind of related.
SF: Yeah. Have you ever attended any of rodeos outside of the gay rodeo?
RT: No. I think that once I’d seen a little bit of bull riding, but not a full rodeo.
SF: Is there anything that you think, personally, makes gay rodeo special or unique?
RT: Yes, I think the fact that somebody who identifies as gay, or lesbian, or just supports other groups, that you can feel welcome. You can feel a part of it, and you don’t have to fear any retaliation by participating.
SF: So, you’ve been involved in gay rodeo for a really long time, so what has made you keep coming back every year?
RT: Because I like it, and I like being around the people. And it gives me something – an outlet to do other than just work.
SF: So, you mentioned dancing a little while ago. So, how long were you involved in square dancing?
RT: Well, from 1986, and then we disbanded... probably... maybe in the early 2000s. Something like that. So, at least something like that.
SF: Do you still dance?
RT: No. No, I’m not as limber as I used to be.
SF: Did you enjoy the dances at the gay rodeo?
RT: Oh, yeah. We had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it very much.
SF: Do you have any memories that you’d like to share about any of the dances you attended?
RT: One, I think from our own association that really I loved and the crowd loved. We were able at one of our rodeos at Corona – normally no vehicles are allowed inside the pavilion, but we square danced to “Pink Cadillac,” the song. So, we borrowed a pink Cadillac from somebody we knew, and eight of us piled into the Cadillac, and we drove in through the pavilion. And then we got out of it and started dancing. So, that was one of the best memories about square dancing.
SF: That’s great. And you’re in the Hall of Fame, right?
RT: Yes.
SF: What year were you inducted?
RT: 2014.
SF: What was that experience like, being inducted?
RT: It was emotional. It was a real honor, something unexpected. But it just made me realize more how much people did appreciate what I had done.
SF: Um, let’s see. Oh, have you found – do you feel like you found a family or community within participating in gay rodeo?
RT: Yes. Definitely.
SF: Could you give any examples, or have any memories you’d like to share of finding that?
RT: Well, I think the big thing is just, from the beginning, getting to know people and where they made you feel welcome and part of it. That was the biggest thing. Because having never been to a rodeo or anything like that, not know what to expect. But it’s like people who have been there take you under their wing for a while and let you, you know, get used to everything. And they’re there to answer questions and help you along the way.
SF: What do you think it means to be a cowboy?
RT: Some people I know say they’re a cowboy. And to me a real cowboy – and I don’t want to be negative about our gay rodeo, because, yeah, I think they’re cowboys/cowgirls – but a real, real cowboy is living on the ranch, actually working with the cattle, and being able to ride, and really work with them that way.
SF: Would you say you’re a cowboy?
RT: No. I’m not a cowboy, but I identify with being around our cowboys.
SF: Do you wear Western wear at all in your everyday life, or just when you’re at rodeos?
RT: Sometimes I’ll do it in everyday life too, depending on where I’m going, what I’m doing.
SF: Have there been any other rodeos that you’ve been to, besides just the Arizona one?
RT: Oh, yeah, I’ve been to a lot of them in different states and in Calgary. And I’ve worked at them a lot as the secretary.
SF: Do you have any favorite rodeos outside of the Arizona one?
RT: It’s hard to really say I have a favorite, but I would probably – and I’m not really sure why, I think I have some reasons – but I would probably say two of my favorites are the Missouri Gay Rodeo, which is called the Show-Me State Rodeo, and then Diamond State Rodeo when it’s held in Little Rock. And I guess maybe it’s because, having started growing up initially in Oklahoma, that they’re more like the people that I’m used to, or was used to before. Kind of in the same local. So, I think those are two of my favorites. The Zia Rodeo in New Mexico is another one. But somehow, I think I kind of feel better about some of the smaller ones than the larger rodeos.
SF: Why do you say you like the smaller ones better?
RT: I didn’t know. I don’t know that I really like the smaller rodeos better, but the ones I mentioned seem at times to be smaller. And I think it’s more just the kind of people, the areas they’re from.
SF: Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience of working with IGRA for so long?
RT: Only that I feel very blessed to have been able to be involved, and to continue to be involved, and to feel that I’m welcome to come back at any time if I, you know, say if I want to be secretary again, that I could run for that position with no negativity from anybody. And I think just knowing I can be part of something.
SF: What do you see for the future of IGRA?
RT: That’s a hard question. Let me put – I want to say that I don’t know what I see that’s the future. I want to be careful how I say that. But what I want to see is continued growth, better communication, and encouraging more people to be involved
SF: How do you think IGRA can reach out to younger generations and bring them in?
RT: I don’t know. We’ve dealt with that for years and we keep bringing it up every year. There’s a few younger people now, but not anything like we need. And, I guess, probably using every means – social media means – we can, is gonna be the only way to reach them, and to really let them know that, you know, you don’t have to be a cowboy or a cowgirl to be involved in gay rodeo. You can do other things. You can be a supporter, you can be a member, or just go to the rodeos and have fun.
SF: Great, well, thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it.
RT: You’re welcome, thank you.