Friday, January 11, 2019

Let Arqueze Girdy Compete!

Image result for Arqueze Girdy photo
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.

Image result for women's professional cowboy association
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.

Image result for MLK Scholarship rodeo and trail ride Houston
"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. 
The goal of the event is to raise scholarship funds for deserving students in the Houston and surrounding areas. The rodeo and trail ride are open to ALL to attend and participate. 
Prospective participants should recognize that although this is an amateur event, which claims no professional affiliation whatsoever, all rodeo events and participants will be governed by rules and standards similar to those set forth by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and Women's Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (WPRCA). 
As for Ms. Girdy's concern regarding her ability to compete in this inaugural event, she first should make sure she has been in contact with official event promoters and affiliates, as we have only taken pre-registration up to this point and have yet to collect any funds from any participants; all registration will be completed at the fairgrounds. Secondly, if she has pre-registered, she should be aware of what is required at the time of entry. 
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

1 comment:

RevJ. said...

Yep, you’re right - Ms. Girdy did not ride. My spouse (Rev. Cecilia) & I came out from SE Houston specifically to see her compete in the rodeo after we heard the story on the news. We are the former pastors of Rainbow Covenant Church, an “affirming” church w/a ministry for our Trans sisters & brothers. We wanted to meet Ms. Girdy, & Pastor Cecilia was going to give Ms. Girdy a copy of her autobiography “It’s Just Me - My Real Life Test”. It’s a SHAME that Ms. Girdy did not get to compete in the barrel race!