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Cowboys dance with one another on the eve of the gay-oriented 16th Annual San Diego Rodeo on September 17, 2004 in Del Mar, California. The San Diego Rodeo is put on by the Golden State Gay Rodeo Association (GSGRA), one of four founding associations of the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRS).
Gay cowboys may be forever defined in pop culture by Brokeback Mountain, but the characters played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Ang Lee’s 2005 film aren’t as anomalous as they seem. For their current exhibit, The Autry National Center has mined its permanent collection, to profile gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in the Old West. What surprising histories were hidden in the Autry’s closets? Who was out – out West?
Gregory Hinton, creator and producer of Out West: LGBT Stories of the American West
Jim Wilke, independent scholar and curator, expert on the American West with a special emphasis on gay, lesbian, and transgender Western history and culture