The president and board of directors of the Greater Palm Springs Rodeo Corp. take pleasure in announcing Mike Thompson will appear as Grand Marshal at rapidly approaching Palm Springs Hot Rodeo the weekend of May 3-5th, 2019. At a presentation ceremony yesterday at the LGBT Center of the Desert, Palm Springs Rodeo president, Ken Smith, commented how elated he and local rodeo chapter members are having Mike serve as Grand Marshal: “It’s something we’ve wanted for a long time.” Mike, a native of Oklahoma, returns home each year at this time to celebrate Mother’s Day with his mom and siblings. This is the first year in many when Hot Rodeo and Mother’s Day occur on different weekends.

A friend and supporter of Palm Springs Rodeo, Mike Thompson is the CEO of the LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs. The Center, a thriving community-based organization, is the cornerstone of the LGBTQ community in the Coachella Valley. It provides a safe and supportive environment for members to enjoy wellness, educational, support and social programs – a place where people of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. A long list of dynamic services available include senior programming, a clinical counseling and internship program, a weekly food bank, extensive social and recreational offerings, a free community cyber center, a growing volunteer program, and periodic special events in the community.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Mike previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Acting President of GLAAD, a national LGBT advocacy organization; Executive Director of Equality Utah, a statewide equality organization; and worked with the Gill Foundation and Gill Action to form One Colorado, the state’s LGBT political advocacy group. Often described as a Change Agent, Mike was identified as the “Fix-it Man” by The Advocate, a leading national LGBT-interest magazine.

“In appreciation of Mike Thompson’s leadership and history of contribution to the LGBT community over many years, the men & women of Palm Springs Hot Rodeo are honored to proclaim Mike Thompson as Grand Marshal 2019.” commented Buck Beal, Marketing & Public Relations Manager for Palm Springs Rodeo.

“Now in our nineteenth year, the men & women of the Greater Palm Springs Chapter of the Golden State Gay Rodeo Association will produce its fifteenth Hot Rodeo May 3rd-5th, 2019 at the A.C. Dysart Equestrian Center in Banning.” Buck says with pride. “The past two years have been sensational for us, catapulting Palm Springs Hot Rodeo to be arguably the best, most popular, and successful gay rodeo in California. Of course, our friends in the San Francisco Bay area may not agree. They’re our closest rival. But a little competition is a good thing.” Beal mused. “I encourage anyone unable to attend Hot Rodeo this year to consider the Best Buck in the Bay Rodeo north of San Francisco the weekend of September 13-15th, 2019. David Lawson and his team do a fabulous job up there. They’re really keeping us on our toes.”