The Library has a new Special Collections display on the first floor outside the Reading Room! To honor LGBTQ+ Pride Month this June, we’re showcasing some of our archival collections that relate to LGBTQ+ history in Idaho!
In addition to the items on physical display, we have the following digital collections related to LGBTQ+ history in Idaho!
- Idaho Queered: a public history project that collected, digitized, transcribed, coded, and archived oral histories from members of the Idaho LGBTQ community from 2016 to 2018. The stories told my interviewees covered the full spectrum of lived experience, from challenges to joys, representing histories that have not often been shared in Idaho.
- Voices of Gay Rodeo: partnering with the International Gay Rodeo Association to collect and preserve people’s experiences as LGBTQ+ westerners, this project seeks to protect endangered histories and relocate LGBTQ+ people back into the American West as people continue to build resilient communities.
The Boys of Boise: Furor, Vice, and Folly in an American City
On the morning of November 1, 1955, the people of Boise, Idaho were stunned by a screaming headline in the Idaho Daily Statesman, THREE BOISE MEN ADMIT SEX CHARGES. Time magazine picked up the story, reporting that a “homosexual underworld” had long operated in Idaho’s staid capital city. The Statesman led the hysteria that resulted in dozens of arrests – including some highly placed members of the community – and sentences ranging from probation to life imprisonment.
Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest
At the turn of the twentieth century, two distinct, yet at times overlapping, male same-sex sexual subcultures had emerged in the Pacific Northwest: one among the men and boys who toiled in the region’s logging, fishing, mining, farming, and railroad-building industries; the other among the young urban white-collar workers of the emerging corporate order. Boag draws on police logs, court records, and newspaper accounts to create a vivid picture of the lives of these men and youths – their sexual practices, cultural networks, cross-class relations, variations in rural and urban experiences, and ethnic and racial influences.
Diversity was a Boise-based monthly newsmagazine for Idaho’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender community. Special Collections has several issues spanning from 1993 to 2011.
Idaho Voters’ Pamphlet 1994
This voters’ pamphlet included two propositions to be voted on at the general election on November 8, 1994. Proposition one was an act establishing state policies regarding homosexuality.
The initiative related to “homosexuality and the state’s authority to afford homosexuals minority status.” It stated that:
- No state agency, department, or political subdivision shall grant minority status to persons who engage in homosexual behavior
- Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships shall not be legally recognized
- Elementary and secondary school educators shall not discuss homosexuality as acceptable behavior
- No state funds shall be expended in a manner that has the effect of accepting or approving homosexuality
- Adults would have limited access to library materials which address homosexuality
- Private sexual practices may be considered non-job factors in public employment
The act failed to pass.1
Come check out our collections! Happy Pride Month!