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Houston Voice, March 18, 2005
File 020
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Houston Voice, March 18, 2005 - File 020. 2005-03-18. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 17, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5687/show/5681.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2005-03-18). Houston Voice, March 18, 2005 - File 020. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5687/show/5681

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, March 18, 2005 - File 020, 2005-03-18, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 17, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5687/show/5681.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, March 18, 2005
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date March 18, 2005
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 020
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com MARCH 18. 2005 19 arts cower story He may be gay, but he's a hundred percent cowboy COWBOY, continued from Page 1 sages in his life. He breaks his leg during a bull ride, his beloved horse dies and Mikulenka's comes out to his family. Just like all good cowboys he's got a tall tale or two to tell about borrowed cowboy boots, broken bones and the price for his own 15 minutes of fame. Gene Mikulenka was raised by a rodeo family in Hallettsville, Texas. He has four older siblings and one younger one. "I was raised on the rodeo since about age five. My dad rode bulls," he says. Born on August 13, he coyly demurs when asked what year "A real cowboy never reveals his true age!" he laughs. "The first bar 1 went to was Numbers, the original one. The first time I went it was like a big light went off," he remembers, but Mikulenka remained semi-closeted for many years after. He was a successful Houston runway and print model in the 1980s after completing three years at Victoria College and the University of Houston. He also gained recognition in national advertising as a hand model. The only people who knew he was gay were "the men I was going out with." Certainly Mikulenka's family did not know. Staunch traditionalists, his mother and step-father (his father died when he was 17), now both deceased would not have approved. "I loved them so much. My mom died on Mothers day. The doctors had always said not to do anything that would upset her heart, so I didn't," he says. He recalls an oft' told tale of when he first learned what the word gay meant. "I was 17, working as a waiter at this little place. One day a couple of guys came into the restaurant and asked me if I was gay," he recalls. "Well I thought the word gay meant that you smoked pot, that you were cool. So 1 told them I had done it a couple of weeks ago on a bridge with my friend, but I wasn't going to do it anymore because it hurt my throat." A friendly waitress informed him that the word meant that you were queer. That word he knew. The good and bad of a life on film Mikulenka looks back on the experience of having his life documented for a film as "a good thing and a bad thing." The director, Kyle Henry, had been searching for a cowboy who competed in both the gay and straight rodeos and one who did well. Mikulenka was featured in Out magazine around the same time a lengthy Houston Chronicle article ran. The director contacted him through a friend, and Mikulenka decided he had f) MORE INFO 'Real American Cowboy1 9 p.m. March 21 and 28 Aurora Picture Show 311 Main $5 admission some soul searching he needed to do. Leary already at the idea, would he be able to deal with the repercussions that would come from such a high profile experience? "I didn't want to out any of my friends, or have it be guilt by association," he says. "Then there's my family" Finally he decided he could no longer live a lie and accepted the film. He could have had no idea that the constant filming would capture a devastating broken leg and most importantly, the death of his beloved horse, Marta, to colic. To this day Mikulenka still finds it near impossible to watch the scenes where Marta dies. "That was the worst part," he says. Another aspect that Mikulenka shares exclusively with The Houston Voice, is that with his new-found fame, came a stalker. "I was stalked for almost six months," Mikulenka says. "He walked up to me at the premiere and said, 'You're a famous cowboy now Your life is about to change.' It was creepy. My friends standing with me still remember him, how he walked away and would turn around and stare with these dead eyes." Mikulenka moved three times to try and out maneuver the stalker. "He always knew where I was. what I was wearing," he says. "Finally, I was at Crossroads having coffee and he walked in. I just freaked. I went over and told a policeman inside about what had been happening. The cop took him outside and spoke with the guy Never heard from him again." Mikulenka has no regrets about "American Cowboy." He says that while he understood the focus was on him being a "gay cowboy," he wishes the film had portrayed a more accurate reflection of his competing. Gene Mikulenka's fifth Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo win came Thursday in pole bending. A UNIVERSE. A WORLD. JUNE 2-6 2005 mw- -w^^wo^i m ■■f_L\lt». ORLftflDO 20 JUNE2-6 EBRATION A MARK BAKER PRODUCTION FRIDAY | mnmnHtt & jff-TMv im-" tPOON FA r T Y JNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA #ve« : A MARK BAKER PRODUCTION DON'T YOU WANT mv Ml W0RlD • Ml W TOUR MARK BAKER an: QIC JOURNEYS BELONG TQ-THE NIGH^ ticketmaster abelC p-r,W0 r*;jv;:]:;.: ■; ti'*;rj! hatt**"**- ta-ffnjut :.:::•':?:-;:.[.:■:!:>-■*; IGHTS .DAY SJJNDAY STAY AT GAY DAY "PARTY CENTRAL'- GAYDAYEVENTS.COM NOW ON CIRCU Q CKET GAYDAY.COM
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