'Paniolo' Joe Rodriguez
Joe Rodriguez is a Filipino American cowboy who grew up in a small town in California near the Bay Area. He grew up around a lot of animals and, after attending college in San Francisco, he discovered his love for riding broncs after attending a rodeo in Sacramento. He has participated in mostly rough stock events, though, after being injured, he has cut back on bronc riding. He has won several Nationals buckles.
Interview Location: Duncans Mills, California
Date: September 10, 2016 | Interviewer: Rebecca Scofield
Go to Transcript
What is special about gay rodeo?
I loved horses and always wanted to ride. […] Travis Gardner, was sort of my involuntary mentor. He said, 'You want to ride broncs? Okay, let's get you suited up. Let’s get you strapped in. Let's get the rigs on. You don't have a rig? Okay, we'll borrow that guy's rig.' So that was my first taste.
Have you ever been physically injured?
How did you find gay rodeo?
When I got to Sacramento and I saw cowboys and country western night dancing. I mean, it was elbow to elbow. You couldn't dance on the dance floor at places. And the music was great. I knew the tunes. I knew the music. … So then I thought: ‘Wow! Gay community. Western lifestyle. I just fell into it.
What was your experience coming out?
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