Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)

willie nelson cowboys secretly frequently fond of each other
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Willie Nelson turns 90 today and we’re celebrating by listening to his “Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other).”

Scroll down for video.

Songwriter Ned Sublette wrote a song about gay cowboys in the 80s when he lived for a while in rural America.

He said the song documented something everyone in the West knew but ignored.

Willie Nelson apparently had a cassette of Sublette singing the track for 20 years and loved it.

In response to his long-time friend and manager coming out as gay and to the release of Brokeback Mountain which he contributed a song to, Willie covered the gay cowboy song.

The recording was the first mainstream song by a major country artist with a gay theme.

The song pulls no punches, cutting to the chase from the opening lines.

Well, there’s many a strange impulse out on the plains of West Texas.
There’s many a young boy who feels things he can’t comprehend.
And a small town don’t like it when somebody falls between sexes.
No, a small town don’t like it when a cowboy has feelings for men.

Later, the lyrics reference shared cowboy and gay iconography.

Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other.
Say, what do you think all them saddles and boots was about?
And there’s many a cowboy who don’t understand the way that he feels for his brother.
And inside every cowboy, there’s a lady that’d love to slip out.

Happy birthday Willie Nelson and great thanks for your allyship.

Willie Nelson: Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)

Also: ‘Old Town Road’ and other western songs in gay culture.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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