The gay life of the Old West

May 12, 2010

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?

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