The National Reno Gay Rodeo was once a thriving event for the LGBTQ+ community. Homophobia in Northern Nevada evoked fear, but the Reno Gay Rodeo offered an inclusive space for individuals to express their true identities. Its founder, Phil Ragsdale, intended to create an event
that countered stereotypes about gay men.
As the AIDS Crisis struck Nevada, attendance at the Reno Gay Rodeo dwindled. Due to financial
woes and the AIDS Crisis, the Reno Gay Rodeo halted after 1984. Although its legacy continued,
Reno hasn’t held one since then. This documentary details accounts of homophobia, the rise of
the AIDS Crisis and the community impact of the Reno Gay Rodeo.
Emily MacDiarmid: Co-Director, Director of Photography
Bree Zender: Co-Director, Producer
Carly Sauvageau: Writer, Editor
Professor: Kari Barber
The University of Nevada, Reno School of Journalism
Archival Footage: What's Up America, Starlight Magazine, ITN