What's So Funny

It would appear that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy has led America astray. While the Fab Five would have you believe that the modern homosexual landscape is dotted with theater-going sophisticates, martini-sipping literati and devastatingly dressed couples with annual memberships at the Met -- in short, people of culture and taste -- truth is, there's a seedy underbelly to the gay community, a witless Boston College-bound younger brother in a long line of Harvard men.

Now, What's So Funny is not so foolish as to assume that all GLBT people are the same. That would be nonsense. Besides, we've always left the stereotypes to the stereo types, who are making false assumptions in their Impalas down Federal. Except for the presumptions that all Asians are good at math and all Irishmen are filthy, filthy drunkards, because those are just true. Furthermore, What's So Funny understands the need for a marginalized group to assert its presence in a society that has traditionally overlooked it, much like the way we keep showing up at an ex-girlfriend's house with a boombox held over our head, à la John Cusack in Say Anything. Sometimes you have to let them know you're still out there. But we always figured that the gay community had enough taste and sense to only assert itself in the more cultivated sectors of society. Not so. This past weekend, What's So Funny learned this truth with all the sting of a cock-slap across our collective cheek while attending the Gay Rodeo. Organizers struck a blow against intolerance everywhere by proving that gay people can be just as tasteless and abusive of animals as anyone. Yee-haw!

It all started so innocently, too, with a letter at the front of the program from Mayor John Hickenlooper welcoming all participants in the 23rd Annual Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo to the Mile High City. Boldly going to bat for his town, Hick informed the gay rodeo-attending public that "Denver is such a diverse city that you are likely to find something to enjoy or somewhere to go that will appeal to your interests." Now there's a rousing endorsement. Allow us to translate: Dear Homosexual Community: While I do not wish to appear particularly aligned with your cause, as that will not look good on the Western Slope when I eventually move toward higher office, I do not wish to appear particularly against your cause, either. That said, welcome and enjoy the "diversions" you may find while you are in town, whatever they may be. Please wear condoms and don't fuck in Cheesman Park. Thank you, and God bless. "

Inside the gates of the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, shirts were optional, cowboy hats were not. Bare-chested, muscle-bound men with handlebar mustaches and tight jeans stood smoking cigarettes and swilling Bud Light. Some of the ugliest drag queens in the history of the genre baked in the sun, their makeup bleeding.

We arrived just as chute-dogging commenced. Creepily described in the program as an "event designed to give even the novice a chance to compete in rough stock events," chute-dogging consists of men violently throwing down calves in painful-to-watch, neck-twisting maneuvers, demonstrating that not just heterosexual men are capable of unfathomable animal abuse, but gay men are, too !

Next came the goat-dressing event. Now, What's So Funny does not wish to sound bigoted, but when two goats were brought into the center of the ring, then tied to cinderblocks, we couldn't help but feel nervous. "This is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better," famed What's So Funny correspondent Monty -- whose continued presence at events of questionable sexuality is beginning to worry his parents -- was heard to utter.

Indeed. Teams of two sprinted from behind a starting line toward the terrified goats, lifted the nannies' hind sections in the air, quickly and expertly outfitted each animal with tighty-whities, then raced back to the starting point. Our jaws would have dropped, were we not so intensely fearing the come-hither glances of several bear-like cowboys nearby. A few of the competitors had issued no-photo requests, as the emcee informed us over the loudspeaker before their heat, which begged the question: Are these guys more worried that their friends and coworkers will find out that they're gay, or that they dress fucking goats?

It was too much. What's So Funny left the poor goats to their subjugation and wandered among the exhibition booths, trying to make sense of it all. Then lo, a stray whistle from a shirtless competitor who mere moments before had been seen with the hind section of a goat in his arms.

"Where are you off to, cowboy?" the man asked What's So Funny suggestively, making a very lewd gesture with his tongue.

To the parking lot, you sexually-harassing, animal-abusing, inbred son of a bitch. This rodeo is gay.


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