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Lucy is a senior staff photographer for Reuters. This is her multimedia blog about her assignments and travels

Gay Rodeo in Little Rock
Friday, June 12th, 2015

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Gordon Satterly, 61, from Michigan (L) kisses his husband Richard Brand, 53, from Texas, at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock party in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Gordon Satterly, 61, from Michigan (L) kisses his husband Richard Brand, 53, from Texas, at the International Gay Rodeo Association’s Rodeo In the Rock party in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 24, 2015.

Contestants at the International Gay Rodeo in Arkansas, a Bible Belt state with a same-sex marriage ban on its books, competed in events from barrel racing to bull riding on the soft soil of a fairground that looked like just any small-scale rodeo held throughout the United States.

Arkansas has been one of the front-line states in the battle between cultural conservatives and those seeking expanded rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

 

A team rushes to put underpants on a goat during the goat dressing contest at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A team rushes to put underpants on a goat during the goat dressing contest.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule in June whether to strike down bans on gay marriage nationwide. Arkansas is one of the 13 U.S. states where same-sex marriage is not recognized.

The 35th edition of the Diamond State Rodeo in Little Rock event drew 75 contestants, far outnumbering spectators, from a dozen states and Canada, all hoping to qualify for the International Gay Rodeo 2016 finals in Las Vegas.

A woman holds rainbow flags for the grand entry at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A woman holds rainbow flags for the grand entry.

A woman competes in the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Jason Strand, 33, (L) helps Raymond Norris, 45, with his dress before the drag racing contest at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Jason Strand, 33, (L) helps Raymond Norris, 45, with his dress before the drag racing contest.

Wade Earp, 49, (L) and his husband Jonathan Suder, 25, from Dallas step out of their horse trailer at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Wade Earp, 49, (L) and his husband Jonathan Suder, 25, from Dallas step out of their horse trailer.

Diamond State Rodeo Association President and U.S. marine veteran Sandy Bidwell, 68, (R) and her wife, former army national guard veteran and Assistant Rodeo Director, Lisa Smith, 59, dance at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock party in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Diamond State Rodeo Association President and U.S. marine veteran Sandy Bidwell, 68, (R) and her wife, former army national guard veteran and Assistant Rodeo Director, Lisa Smith, 59, dance at the International Gay Rodeo Association’s Rodeo In the Rock party.

Two cowboys watch the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Two cowboys watch the International Gay Rodeo Association’s Rodeo In the Rock.

Kirk Carter, 51, (R) and his husband Shawn Eddings, 49, warm up with their horses at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Kirk Carter, 51, (R) and his husband Shawn Eddings, 49, warm up with their horses.

A judge gestures to a competitor at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A judge gestures to a competitor.

A cowboy wrestles a steer at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A cowboy wrestles a steer.

Wade Earp, 49, (R) competes in the calf roping event at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Wade Earp, 49, (R) competes in the calf roping event.

Todd Tramp, 51, competes at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Todd Tramp, 51, competes at the International Gay Rodeo Association’s Rodeo In the Rock.

A competitor displays prize ribbons and a belt buckle at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A competitor displays prize ribbons and a belt buckle.

A golf cart with a 'Princess parking only' sign is seen at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 26, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A golf cart with a ‘Princess parking only’ sign is seen next to the arena.

Greg Smith, 47, from Alabama (L) chats to a cowboy as he waits to compete in the Wild Drag Race at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Greg Smith, 47, from Alabama (L) chats to a cowboy as he waits to compete in the Wild Drag Race.

Mipsy Mikels, 50, smokes a cigarette at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Mipsy Mikels, 50, smokes a cigarette.

Raymond Norris, 45, rides a steer while competing in the Wild Drag Race at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Raymond Norris, 45, rides a steer while competing in the Wild Drag Race.

A man washes a horse at the International Gay Rodeo Association's Rodeo In the Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A man washes a horse.

 

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