1983 was a tough year for Reno’s LGBTQ+ community.
The AIDS epidemic had reached Nevada, according to the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. And the Gay Rodeo was facing a stronger threat of violence than in years past. An article from the Reno Evening Gazette said that anonymous telephone calls to Reno’s three main television stations warned that snipers were poised to shoot attendees.
Despite threats on multiple fronts, the event was one of the few times that being openly gay was generally accepted in the Biggest Little City.