Cinema Spotlight: Queens & Cowboys

Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo chronicles a complete season of the International Gay Rodeo Association. Roping and riding across North America, the IGRA’s courageous cowboys and cowgirls brave challenges both in and out of the arena on their quest to qualify for the World Finals at the end of the season. Along the way, they’ll bust every stereotype in the book.

Founded in 1985, the group currently has over 5000 members in 27 chapters all around North America. The association puts on massive rodeos across North America using only volunteers — and all their proceeds go to charity.

Still photo from Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo

The film tells the story of five members of the International Gay Rodeo Association. From Wade Earp, a descendant of cowboy legend Wyatt Earp and one of the best competitors on the circuit; to Char Duran, a female bull rider who’s never won a buckle but seems determined to die trying; Queens & Cowboys weaves the stories of its protagonists over the course of an entire rabble-rousing year.

An unprecedented look at the strength it takes to be gay in the rural west, this film explores the many struggles threatening the IGRA and the LGBTQ community at large, how far society has come on the subject of LGBTQ equality, and how far we still have to go.

Still photo from Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo

“I was originally doing research for a scripted television show I hoped to develop, a show about salt-of-the-earth rodeo cowboys roping and riding through the American west. It all stemmed from a trip to a Cody, Wyoming rodeo with my dad when I was only three years old. Since then, rodeo has always been a fascinating subject for me,” said director Matt Livadary. “The goal of this film is to start a conversation. Not about the differences in our sexuality, but in the commonalities that unite us.”

Queens & Cowboys is about passion, belonging, tradition — it’s about finding your bull and having the courage to, as Wade Earp puts it, “get up, dust yourself off, and keep going”. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Still photo from Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo