Travis James (Travis Drapeau) was born in Franklin NC, a small town 13 miles north of the Georgia border on the southern rim of the Great Smokey Mountains. Born into a military family, his parents were no strangers to hard work being farmers and ranchers. With his father also being in the military, the family lived in several places, finally settling in Yuma, AZ.
Travis learned of Gay Rodeo while living in Yuma through his friend, Lewis Sanders. In 2002, he attended his first gay rodeo in San Diego, CA. Travis performed for the first time at the Road Runner Regional Rodeo in 2003 and that's where he became hooked. When Travis Moved to Phoenix in June 2003, he got involved with his community through the Men of Charlies as Man of the Month for April of 2004, helping to raise money for multiple community efforts and teaching two-step, all while attending nursing school.
Travis's first experience as a contestant in the area was in 2007, he dove right in as the Cowboy in Wild Drag and eventually ended up competing in chute-dogging. Though his competition days in the rodeo arena have ended, he treasures his time competing, learning, and helping teach new contestants. He has helped many royalty and royalty candidates over the years even if it's just a simple reminder to always "keep a rule book in your back pocket" or performing at Royalty Show fundraisers and though this is not his first time at the IGRA Level, he continues to show his commitment to rodeo and royalty.
As Mr. AGRA 2018, Travis has not only represented AGRA, he has been asked by other associations to volunteer, as Assistant Arena Crew Coordinator, Arena Crew Coordinator and Assistant Area Director, helping him to become a Certified Arena Crew Coordinator for IGRA sanctioned Rodeos.
Travis is grateful for the help and guidance he's received from those that have come before him, for the family and friends that support him and the many new friends he has made on the rodeo circuit this year. He looks forward to working with everyone to continue to promote and grow rodeo for the future.
Travis and his partner Gary, aka president of the Lolli Pop Guild or Carlton, to those who know him well, reside in Phoenix with their two fur kids Lucky and Percy.