Advocacy company questions organisation of gay rodeo


gay rodeo josh goyne the gay cowboy
Image: Pride Rodeo Down Under BY Gay Rodeo Association Australia/Facebook

The Supportah group of companies today published an open letter to Josh Goyne, ‘the gay cowboy’, concerning a gay rodeo advertised for October. Goyne recently began selling tickets to the rodeo on Eventbrite.

Josh Goyne, the gay cowboy

Josh Goyne, became known as the gay cowboy after posting videos concerning vilification regarding his sexuality designed to discourage him from competing at rodeos.

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He previously began a charity Stroke Support Awareness Australia, at the age of 16 after his grandfather died from a stroke. A remarkable achievement for a young man who told news.com.au his aunt and uncle threw him out of home the year before when he came out.

In early 2017, a gofundme campaign organised by the International Gay Rodeo Association raised funds to allow Josh to travel to the US to compete in rodeos. Josh later fell out with that organisation, thrown out of one rodeo and banned from competing in any others. Details around that incident remain in dispute

Recently, he announced he would hold a gay rodeo at the Toowoomba Showgrounds in October.

This rodeo is a protest to the homophobic attitudes we experience and an f u to the Australian Christian lobby’
Stock will be rider friendly and we will run a rodeo school on the first day!
We have artists and cowboys/cowgirls flying in from all over the world.

Supportah’s open letter

In the letter, Supportah describe themselves as a company who specialise in fighting for those discriminated against, harassed or vilified because they identify as members of the LGBTI communities.

“We love squaring the ledger for our friends in the LGBTI community.

“We share your concerns for the ‘suicide rate experienced in rural and regional communities.’

“So we purchased four tickets to ‘Pride Rodeo Down Under’ on in October.”

ACCC advice for ticket purchasers

The letter goes on to state that as ticket buyers, the company checked on consumer law requirements for such events. They found advice from the ACCC for ticket purchasers.

“Check the line-up acts, or stallholders’ social media accounts and official websites to confirm their attendance. Call the venue to confirm that the event is taking place.”

However, the letter mentions that on a Facebook page where members air their grievances with Josh Goyne, a poster claims to have rung the advertised venue and been told no booking had yet been made for the event.

Eventbrite terms and conditions stipulate organisers “will obtain, prior to the start of ticket sales, all applicable licences, permits, and authorizations.”

Supportah, as purchasers of tickets to the event, then ask that Josh Goyne answer questions regarding the event. They offer to pay $2,000 to LGBTI peer counselling service Diverse Voices if he does.

The questions

  • “Have you paid for the venue. If so can you show proof of payment, please?
  • Our tickets come with camping grounds included. Where are they and has this ground been booked? If so please provide booking details.
  • Have you paid for the insurances. If so can you please show the certificate of insurance?
  • Given the inherent risks of rodeos and the Event Brite page says “all lgbti persons and ally’s are welcome to come and compete in the sport of rodeo.”
  • Have you completed a Work Health and Safety Risk Assessment and Event Management Plan?
  • I understand you “have competitors even flying over from America” as “there are safety standards we have to keep”. Who are these competitors?
  • What understanding of Australian and Queensland safety laws and Toowoomba Council by-laws do these competitors have?
  • If you have not booked the venue, not paid for it, not insured it and/or not completed your legal obligations to risk assess the event, you would agree you have not complied with Event Brite rules?
  • If you have marketed an event but not booked the venue, not paid for it, not insured it and/or not completed your legal obligations to risk assess then you would agree that this is terribly misleading?”
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The letter concludes with a promise to donate $2,000 to Diverse Voices, regardless of whether or not they receive a response.

“Because we love what you do.”

Response from Josh Goyne

QNews have reached out to both Josh Goyne and Supportah for comment on the issues raised.

Josh Goyne told QNews that the assertions in the letter are untrue. He said he only just paid for the showground booking and event insurance out of an insurance payout he received after the recent flooding of his house.

Supportah is yet to respond.

More to come…

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