%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1392173361085108800
%% Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:350:[[Film/BrokebackMountain http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_brokeback-mountain_7261.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[YouKeepUsingThatWord Except these ones are actually shepherds.]]]]

->''"Alright, here's a little tune inspired by one of the great legends of the Old West. Well, there once were two cowboys all alone out on the trail / And they discovered they could sleep with another male / Now they're having buttsex / Cowboy buttsex!/Sodomy-hyyyyyyyyyy!/''"''
-->-- '''Peter Griffin''', ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''

The mythos of the American Old West, with its aura of ruggedness, danger and adventure, has appealed to many people over the years, including gay men. While they don't have quite as many stereotypical gay associations as [[HelloSailor sailors]] and [[LeatherMan leather-clad bikers]], cowboys are an important part of [[ManlyGay macho]] gay male iconography.
This trope covers gay or bi men who are {{Western}}-flavored characters or just fans of the genre.

This is almost always a flavor of ManlyGay.


* Creator/MarvelComics' Rawhide Kid in the eponymous 2003 limited series (but ''not'' in regular continuity, Earth 616 appearances). His over-hyped sexuality caused the books to be rated inappropriate for minors to read, even though the only indication he was gay was by offensive innuendos and implications.
* In the 2000s ''ComicBook/JonahHex'' series, Hex faces off against a Gay Cowboy who goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the town where his partner was killed.
** A bit of DeliberateValuesDissonance in the Comicbook/{{New 52}} ''All-Star Western'', where Hex, transported to the PresentDay, takes offence at being called a cowboy, claiming that they're ''all'' gay.

* ''Film/ThreeTenToYuma2007'', where Charlie "Princess" is [[AmbiguouslyGay almost outright stated to be gay]] (especially for his boss, Ben Wade). And {{Fanon}} explains Ben ''himself'' to be gay as well.
* ''Film/BrokebackMountain'' is famous for being ''the'' "gay cowboy movie", even though they're actually bisexual shepherds. Also, it's not set in the ''old'' West.
* The two major gay male characters in the Canadian indie film ''Film/WilbyWonderful'' are both fans of Westerns.
* Also popular in {{Spaghetti Western}}s with the SissyVillain type: ''Film/{{Django}} Kill'', ''Film/{{Sabata}}'' and ''Film/TheGrandDuel'' have flamboyantly gay baddies.
* [[CampGay Julian]] ([=J.C. McGinley=]'s character) in ''Film/WagonsEast''. [[spoiler:An ultimately heroic example, at that.]]
* In the Joshua Jackson film ''Film/LoneStarStateOfMind'' a.k.a ''Cowboys and Idiots'', Earl's best friend is Jimbo, who is the stereotypical Texan cowboy mechanic, only that he's gay and there's a subplot throughout the film of him trying to get a date. [[spoiler: He dates Earl's father's killer]] Yeah, it's that kind of movie.
* In the slasher film ''Film/{{Maskhead}}'', the contact the snuff film makers (a pair of [[PsychoLesbian Psycho Lesbians]]) have with their buyers is a cowboy who picks up men to fist and do other weird sexual things to. However, he vehemently claims he is not "a fucking fag".
* The ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}'' parody film ''Zorro: The Gay Blade'', in which Don Diego breaks his leg and his camp brother Bunny takes over.

* In ''Literature/TheLastRune'' series there are the minor characters Davis and Mitchell, two gay ranchers who have been together for over twenty five years.
* Warren from the ''Literature/MercyThompson'' series was a gay cowboy before he became a werewolf.
* Gemma Files' ''Hexslingers'' series, you've got Chess (who also falls under AgentPeacock and somewhat DepravedHomosexual, though he's the hero) Rook (who could either be bisexual or [[IfItsYouItsOkay just into Chess]], since we never see him with any other men) and Ed, who also seems to be making an exception where Chess is concerned.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Referenced in ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'' when Oswald decides to check out a new bar where the dress code is cowboy gear. Drew lets him go, figuring this is something he'd just have to learn the hard way.
* ''Series/TheGoodies'' had the Rhinestone Cowperson in the episode "The Goodies Almost Live".
* One of Jack's [[ReallyGetsAround many boyfriends]] in ''Series/WillAndGrace''. There is also a gay Country & Western bar in the episode, complete with "GAY BAR FIGHT!"
* Creator/PaulLynde played a [[Radio/TheLoneRanger Lone Ranger]]-style character in a series of skits on a late-60s variety show - his 'clever disguises' tended to be Mardi Gras eye masks.
* Alex dresses up like a sexy one in ''Series/NoahsArc'' to surprise Trey.
* One of the victims in the ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode "In Heat".
* Brazilian soap opera ''América'' had one rodeo cowboy who eventually came out and got a boyfriend, after both suffered through much {{Gayngst}}.
* A ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skit features Music/EltonJohn as a cowboy, riding into town on a unicorn after mistakenly believing the local bartender (Creator/BillHader) could make mojitos. He flirts with another, very confused cowboy (Creator/JasonSudeikis) and angrily rejects a flirtatious, clueless saloon girl (Creator/KristenWiig). [[spoiler: At the end, Hader and Sudeikis' characters turn out to be in a relationship with each other to boot.]]

* "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other," aka "The Gay Cowboy Song."
* One of the Music/VillagePeople dressed as a cowboy. The performer was one of the two members of the group who was gay in RealLife.
* There was an underground cowboy song called "The Lavender Cowboy", who, according to the lyric "had only two hairs on his chest" (which line was usually followed by two plucks from the violin).
* There's a Brazilian {{Earworm}} song, called [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bX-Eg6hBm0 "Cowboy Viado"]] or "Fag Cowboy". It goes like "He rides, I know he rides, He rides the horse just to raise his tail".
* Music/AliceInChains' song "Queen of the Rodeo" is a subversion; the subject of the song is simply a transvestite.
* "Cowboy Love" by Reverend Horton Heat
* "C.S. Cowboy" by the Axis of Awesome, the result of two of the bands' members believing the initials stood for 'Crime Solving'.
* In the musical production called ''FairyTales'', the song "Illinois Fred" tells the story of two men sitting at a bar encountering a cowboy named Illinois Fred, who enjoys antiques, Patsy Cline music, dancing, and taking men into the back of his truck to...play the radio.
--> "The cowboy just stood there in Levis and chaps/'till Randy said, 'hey, sit on down, have a beer.'/From the way that he smiled/When he walked over to us/ I said to myself this guy must be a ... [[LastSecondWordSwap Yankee."]]
* Roy of the Vengaboys is gay.
* When Dog Fashion Disco's producers irritated lead singer Todd Smith by pressuring him about the state of their upcoming concept album, DFD released two joke songs, one of which was called "Hank Steel the Real Queer Cowboy". The band was barely able to finish the song for laughing.
* While Music/TaijiSawada was likely heterosexual (or at most bisexual or bicurious) in RealLife, he attained the status of SexGod by ''[[MyHorseIsAMotorbike combining]]'' the cowboy and LeatherMan / BadassBiker aesthetic onstage (especially with Music/XJapan, but in his solo works as well) and in photoshoots and the like.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Parodied in one ''Magazine/TheNewYorker'' cartoon: two senile old cowboys are sitting on a porch, and one yells to the other, "Were we gay?"

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Boy Tony was already a GorgeousGeorge but in the Wrestling/VonErichFamily WCCW he became a Cowboy, who was still AmbiguouslyGay.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/SunsetRiders'', Billy (who has a stylish victory pose) is the only character who looks away from the saloon girls, after the Smith Brothers boss fight. Of course, he may just be bashful or modest around the ladies.
* Revolver Ocelot in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series is a SpaghettiWestern-themed villain who turns out to have been in love with a guy.
* Jude the Dude in ''VideoGame/MadWorld'' is [[AmbiguouslyGay heavily implied]] to be one of these. His boss arena even features a banner that proclaims him as "The Brokest Back in the West."
* Sir Hammerlock of ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' is hinted at being gay, and wears an outfit which is a mixture of a scholar and a cowboy.

* ''Webcomic/GoodbyeChains''. Though, technically, none of the gay characters are proper cowboys.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' codes Equius as a Bisexual Cowboy through his TestosteronePoisoning, keeping of a milk-bearing animal, aggressive drinking of milk and, most blatantly, his Music/EnnioMorricone MusicalPastiche {{Leitmotif}}. And as the [[WesternZodiac Sagittarius]] troll, he's also thematically associated with [[AnimalMotifs horses]].

* Danny Brady from ''Literature/ShadowUnit'' has overtones of this.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Sixteen}}'', Jonesy decides to spend Valentine's Day holding an auction to win a date with him. However, he forgot to specify "girls only". Once a man dressed as a cowboy places a bid, Jonesy has to start bidding on himself to avoid having to go on a date with him. The bidding war lasts until Nikki decides to bail him out by [[WhammyBid bidding an insane amount of money]] (on the condition that she doesn't have to pay it, of course).
* On ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', Dale's estranged father is a rodeo-cowboy (it's a gay rodeo). When he tries to come out to Dale, Dale believes that he is confessing to being [[TheMenInBlack a secret agent for the government]] and that his "partner" is of the {{Buddy Cop|Show}} variety. This is partly because Dale had always been under the impression that his father was a real ladykiller who ReallyGetsAround with beautiful women, and partly because Dale is [[ConspiracyTheorist Dale]].
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. The film festival, and Cartman's famous line about gay cowboys eating pudding.
** [[Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone Matt and Trey]] actually said before ''Brokeback Mountain'' came out that "if they eat pudding, we're going to sue."
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. One reference to ''Brokeback Mountain'' provides the page quote (above). A second cutaway gag refers to the famous quote "it's legal so long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses". Two horses are waiting outside a tent wondering why their masters are late getting up that morning. One horse, overcome by curiosity, looks inside. And is indeed frightened by what he sees.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The American Gay Rodeo Association
* The reputation surrounding super-selective [[http://www.deepsprings.edu/ Deep Springs College]], one of the last men's colleges in the US, where so-called "cowboy intellectuals" split their time between ranch labor and the western canon. Founded by engineer and philanthropist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.L._Nunn L.L. Nunn]], who's suggested to have been a pederast. (They've now gone co-ed - the first female students will begin attending in fall 2018.)
* The cowboy from the Village People. He was a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO43p2Wqc08&ob=av3e macho man.]]
* [[http://docs.google.com/View?id=ajgnntdjwv73_497msdp6gpb This poem.]]