Historian: Cross-dressing was common in the "Old" West

Oct 7, 2013

Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past by Peter Boag (University of California Press, 2011)

A noted historian says that cross dressing was common in the historic old West. 

Washington State University Professor Peter Boag spoke on sexuality and gender issues of the American West at the University of Wyoming.  Boag says it was a man’s world in the 19th century, so it was not unusual to find that some women dressed like men.

“What I was unprepared for when I started uncovering all these female to male cross dressers, I also started to uncover hundreds of stories of men who dressed as women.  Because of this preconception I had of which was very much colored by this myth we had of the American West as a masculine place.”

Boag says the issue was very much out in the open. He was written a number of books on the sexuality of the Amercian West.  He spoke at the UW History Department’s annual Cone Lecture.