Monday, November 19, 2007

November 19

Gay Mexican cowboys still semi-underground
Vaquero contest is largely an outlet for immigrant men to express themselves without fear
By Alison Satake, Bay Area News Group correspondant

Backstage in the dressing room, the nervous energy was high as each cowboy primped before a vanity mirror.

For some, like "Antonio Rios," the nerves came from more than a little stage fright.

"Antonio Rios is 24," said the worker from the avocado orchards of Michoacán, Mexico, who is actually 21.

He assumes the fake identity when he goes to gay clubs. "I don't like using my personal name because my family and straight friends don't know I'm gay," he said. "People might come looking for me at work, too."

Despite his coyness, there's one thing Rios is not shy about: his quest for the title of Mr. Gay Vaquero 2007.

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