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An Idaho Gay Bibliography


This annotated bibliography includes citations to books, articles, and films that document the experience of gay people in Idaho from the early 19th century to the present day.  Most of the items listed are available in Albertsons Library, Boise State University. Researchers may also want to refer to Diversity, the monthly newspaper of the Idaho gay community. Published since 1984, it is available on microfilm. Archive and manuscript collections documenting the activitiies of gay people and organizations are listed on a separate Gay Archives bibliography.


An article about the Library's gay archives appeared in the university's Focus magazine, Summer 2003.



Gerassi, John. The Boys of Boise: Furor, Vice and Folly in an American City. New York: Macmillan. 1966. Paperback, 1968.  Paperback, 2001(University of Washington) with new Foreword by Peter Boag.  The famous "homosexual scandal" of 1955 that rocked Boise and made national headlines.


The Fall of '55.  Documentary film by Seth Randal about the Boys of Boise scandal and its aftermath.  2006.   www.fallof55.com 


Katz, Jonathan Ned. Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. Revised edition. New York: Meridian. 1985. Contains a psychiatric report on Lucille Hart (patient "H") dated 1918-1920 (pp. 258-279) and an anonymous interview conducted in 1973 with a man convicted in the Boys of Boise case (pp. 109-119)


Katz, Jonathan Ned. Gay/Lesbian Almanac: A New Documentary. New York: Carroll & Graf. 1994. Contains the further life story of Lucille Hart/Dr. Alan Hart.


Marcus, Eric. Making History: the Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 1992. Contains and interview with Morris Foote about his life as a gay man in Boise, Idaho (pp 314-318)


Shilts, Randy. Conduct Unbecoming: Lesbians and Gays in the U.S. Military, Vietnam to the Persian Gulf. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 1993. An account of lesbians at Mountain Home Air Force Base, 1970 (pp. 139-142; 151-152)


Dieter, Alice. "Boise’s Gay World." Intermountain Observer. January 16, 1971.


Etlinger, Charles. "Attitudes Changed Since ‘Boys of Boise’ Scandal." Idaho Statesman. December 21, 1975.


Sweet Land of Liberty: Moscow Pullman Gay Community (video). Produced by Mike Kirk. Moscow: KUID-TV. 1977. Interviews with gays and lesbians living on the Palouse.


Barclay, Donald. "Coming Out in Boise." University News [Boise State Univ] April 22, 1981.


Etlinger, Charles. "An Enduring Lesson: Homosexual Purge of ‘55 Yields to Tolerance Today-- But Fears Still Remain." Idaho Statesman. December 15, 1985.


Matthies, Sharon. "Boise’s 1st Gay Bar Closes After 13 Years." The Paper. November 1988. Also, "Idaho’s First Gay Bar Burns to the Ground." The Paper. September 1989.


Evancho, Robert R. The Boise Gay Community in 1993: A Subculture Under Siege. Masters thesis, Boise State University. 1993.


Our Private Idaho (video). Directed by Clare Muller and Daniel Gallagher. London: Devil’s Avocado. 1998. [The anti-gay initiative and No on One Campaign, 1994]


Kamikaze Summer (video).  Directed by Chris Collins.  San Francisco: Hawk Hill Films. 1996. Interviews with gay and anti-gay activists in Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado.


Pursley, Sara. "Gay Politics in the Heartland: With the Lesbian Avengers in Idaho." The Nation 260 (January 23, 1995) pp 90-94. Gay activism in North Idaho during the No on One campaign, 1994.


Hopkins, Jim. "The Boy Most Likely To Succeed." [Boys of Boise] Idaho Statesman. October 15, 1995.


Schow, Wayne. Remembering Brad: on the Loss of a Son to AIDS. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995. Journal of an Idaho AIDS victim with commentary by his father.


Anti-Gay rights: Assessing Voter Initiatives. Edited by Stephanie L. Witt and Suzanne McCorkle. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. 1997.


Boag, Peter. "Peeping Toms and Tearooms in 1920s Boise: A Case Study on the Emergence and Suppression of Gay Male Community." Northwest Gay and Lesbian Historian, Summer/Fall 1996.


Thompson, Mark. Gay Soul: Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco. 1994. Contains an interview with Clyde Hall, a gay Native American activist from Fort Hall, Idaho, pp. 116-130.  A follow-up to Hall’s Idaho memoir, "Children of Grandmother Moon" (written as "M. Owlfeather") contained in Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988) pp. 97-105.


Schaeffer, Claude E. "The Kutenai Female Berdache: Courier, Guide, Prophetess, and Warrior." Ethnohistory 12 (1965): 193-236.


Quinn, D. Michael. Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 1996. History of homosexuality in Utah.


Boag, Peter.  Same-sex affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest.  Berkeley: University of California Press.  2003


Works of Fiction


Spanbauer, Tom. The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon: A Novel. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. 1991. The story of a bisexual or gay Indian boy in the fictional town of Excellent, Idaho, at the turn of the century. The author incorporates the Idaho legends of Peg Leg Annie, Chief Nampa, Dr. Ah Fong, and Craters of the Moon into his narrative.  First of several novels by Spanbauer that incorporate gay themes and Idaho.


Spanbauer, Tom.  In the City of Shy Hunters: A Novel.  New York: Grove Press. 2001.  A  gay man coming out in New York reflects on his childhood in Idaho.


Dennett, Nolan. Place of Shelter. Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1994.  A coming-of-age novel set in Warren, Idaho. The author is a professional dancer and a former Fulbright scholar.


Newman, Mike. Secret Buddies. San Francisco: GLB Publishers. 1992. High jinks among the fire fighters in the Bitterroot Mountains.


Hart, Alan. The Undaunted. New York: W.W. Norton. 1936. A novel about medical research. One of the subplots (the story of Sandy Farquhar) reflects Hart’s experience as a young physician forced to move from town to town because of rumor and gossip over his sexuality. The author lived in Boise in the late 1930s and early 1940s and worked with the Idaho Anti-Tuberculosis Association. [See also entries under Katz, above]


Haynes, Matthew R.K. Moving Towards Home. London: Minerva. 1999. Novel by an Idaho author about a gay teen, set mainly in Elko, Nevada.


Opyr, Joan.  Idaho Code.  St. Paul: Bywater Books.  2006.  Murder mystery set in a fictionalized Moscow, Idaho, during the 1994 anti-gay initiative.


Wells, Burny.  Boise Boys: A Novel. Boise: Shasti Pub. 2008.  A novel based upon the 1955 "Boys of Boise" scandal.




Many of these works were featured in the exhibit, "Gay Idaho," on display in the Special Collections display windows in June and July 2001.

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