How do you learn—and save—a history that was often too dangerous to write down?

To mark Pride Month 2023, we hunted through the Atlas Obscura archives for stories that have long been overlooked in mainstream American history: tales of people across the centuries—from as long ago as Colonial Williamsburg—who would now be thought of as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Among them:

The Forgotten Trans History of the Wild West
By Sabrina Imbler

Peter Boag.

People who did not conform to traditional gender norms were a part of daily life in the Old West, according to Peter Boag, a historian at Washington State University. While researching a book about the gay history of Portland, writes Sabrina Imbler, Boag stumbled upon hundreds and hundreds of stories of people who dressed against their assigned gender. Trans people have always existed all over the world. So how had they escaped notice in the annals of the Old West?

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Atlas Obscura