Josh Goyne, a.k.a. “The Gay Cowboy,” is a teenage bull rider and LGBTQ activist from Australia’s Central Coast. He lives in rural Australia, which still has a problem with homophobia, and which he is no stranger to.
“Today I was asked if I thought it was good that gays died of AIDS, and then the guy said he wished it was 1850 so he could shoot me for being a fag,” 18-year-old Goyne said in a recent video posted to his Facebook page.
“Kudos to you mate,” Goyne replied. “You’re a real prick and I hope everything that comes to you is karma.”
Regardless of how you may feel about rodeos, wishing a gay teenager death by AIDS is not OK. Luckily, Goyne, who came out when he was 15, is not letting the threats get the best of him.
“They think they’re gonna silence me, but there’s no chance in hell,” Goyne says in the video. “They think they’re gonna stop me from riding in this week’s rodeo, not a chance in hell. I will proudly stand up to any homophobe and say right to their face that I’m a proud openly gay cowboy.”
Goyne says he alerted police about the threats and says he will not be intimidated by anyone. In fact, his tagline on Facebook is, “Homophobia. It stops with me.”
“I will happily give a voice to those too scared to speak up,” he says.
In an interview with news.com.au, Goyne says the response to his video has been “99.9% brilliant,” adding, “I’ve even had straight cowboys say they will help me out at the rodeo and stand with if I have any trouble.”
“Rural Australia has a terrible problem with homophobia,” he says. “It needs to stop.”
Watch Goyne’s Facebook video below.