As y’all know I’m am a huge proponent of letting trans people compete in whatever sporting events they have the talent and drive to win in.
Growing up in Texas and getting the opportunity to see the Houston Rodeo, I have watched people compete in barrel racing. It’s a sport in which a competitor riding a horse tries to navigate three widely spaced barrels in the fastest time on a triangular course.
You also must do so while directing the horse to go in a cloverleaf pattern around the barrels without knocking them down, you falling off the horse, or the horse falling during the run and failing to cross the start-finish line. If any of or a combination of those events happen, you receive a NO TIME for the run.
Barrel racing is one of the few rodeo events in that macho rodeo sporting world that women are the predominate participants in. We also have smaller rodeo competitions that happen here in the Houston area and across the state.
Since Black cowboys like Bill Pickett are credited with inventing the sport, many of these smaller rodeos are Black owned and run. .
It’s time to introduce you readers to barrel racer Arqueze Girdy
Arqueze is a 5th generation rodeo competitor in her family who is trying to make it to the WPRA (Women’s Professional Rodeo Association) professional ranks in her sport.
She also happens to be trans feminine. That shouldn’t be a problem, but it looks like somebody at the MLK Scholarship and Rodeo taking place at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds tomorrow has a problem with Girdy being there.
She’s dealing with transphobia on the amateur rodeo circuit as she pursues her quest n to get to the professional ranks and one day compete in the WPRA events like the Houston Rodeo at NRG Stadium.
‘They never come out and say it’s because I’m transgender. They say I’m not qualified”, Girdy said in an interview with Houston’s ABC13. “I want to make history and open doors and help people. There are other people in my situation,” she said.
Girdy texted her entry form and paid her fee to compete in the rodeo slated to happen at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, but still hasn’t heard from them.
After not returning requests for comment from ABC13, the promoters for tomorrow’s event finally put out a statement on Thursday evening.
“The promoters of the 1st Annual MLK Scholarship Rodeo and Trail ride are pleased to hold its inaugural event on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9 a.m. at The Fort Bend County Fairgrounds.
We are looking forward to Saturday’s event and welcome everyone out to support our scholarship fund and enjoy a day of rodeo fun and entertainment.”
Yeah, right. Looks like y’all were planning to not let her compete until this made the news.
We’ll see if the organizers of this event actually let Ms. Girdy compete, or are just selling woof tickets so they don’t look transphobic to the world.
Hmm, looks like I may need to make a trip down I-69 to Fort Bend County to see what’s happening with my barrel racing trans sibling.
The bottom line though, is that Black trans people exist, and you need to let her compete.
TransGriot Update (12 January): Hearing disturbing chatter from peeps who attended the event that Arqueze was NOT allowed to compete. Formulating next steps now