This issue celebrates the 30th anniversary of the World Gay Rodeo Finals® (WGRF), part of the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA). It brings back memories of my childhood campaign to own my own horse. My grandmother, a confirmed fan of all things western, lived with us as I was growing up, taking me to every western movie that came to town. Since we lived in the heart of town with a postage stamp backyard filled with her flowers, I wound up with a cat that I named Trigger in honor of Roy Rogers’ beautiful palomino. Not quite what I was expecting but a trauma I managed to overcome.

Seriously, like all the long-standing national and international LGBT sports organizations, the rodeo offers a sense of family – of friendship, fun and most important, acceptance. And the number and different kinds of events that are part of a rodeo make for a wonderfully wide variety of volunteer positions for people wanting to get involved. For 30 years the WGRF has been keeping alive the wonderful values and traditions of the country western lifestyle.

We also share the latest on horse trainer and IGRA member Jake Nodar, recently back from his latest survival experience in the South African bush on “Naked and Afraid XL.” He was the first openly gay man to be featured on a television show on the Discovery Channel back in 2009, something that’s very special to him. It’s important to him that he can represent the LGBT community in a positive way.

Don’t miss the insightful interview with soccer pro Joanna Lohman or the article on scuba diving. It’s a great way to travel for adventure and excitement while exploring the two-thirds of our world that’s covered by water. And when you’re ready to relax, Compete’s style editor Bobby Ciletti gives you the dos and don’ts of the new athleisure style that’s here to stay.


Keep Smiling,

Connie Wardman, Editor-in-Chief



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