The Los Angeles-based Little, who's photographed everyone from Tom Cruise to Jane Fonda to Jane Lynch, captured the grit and glamour of the gay and lesbian rodeo circuit in the '80s and '90s. The gay cowboys and cowgirls challenged gender roles and reveled in competition and comraderie. Little became so transfixed by the Western gay cowboy/cowgirl circuit that he learned to ride a bull and a steer.
“The whole scene watching it; imagining that these guys were really doing this, and that they were gay!” Little said about his interest in gay rodeo.
The exhibit, curated by Johanna Blume, opens February 1 and will be at the Eiteljorg until the summer Pride season.
“This exhibit also explores the diverse and complex natures of individual and community identity in the West," Blume says. "Many of the people in these photos were LGBT men and women from rural backgrounds and the gay rodeo circuit gave them a place where they could embrace and celebrate their full identities.”
Check out some of Little's images on the next pages.
Photo: Jerry Hubbard, Burbank, California, 1989, Blake Little
Los Angeles Cowboys, Hollywood, California, 1990, Blake Little
Rodeo Partners Gene Hubert and Rick Ferreira, Sun Valley, California, 1991, Blake Little
Chute Dogging, Phoenix, Arizona, 1989, Blake Little
The Prayer, Rick Simmons, San Diego, California, 1991, Blake Little