The Gay Rodeo Oral History Project

I am Rebecca Scofield, an associate professor of American history and chair of the department of history at the University of Idaho. I grew up in Emmett, Idaho, and have seen firsthand how mythological structures can exclude certain populations from collective identities, even as those people have always existed in western spaces. I have found DH to be a more effective way of telling more complete and inclusive histories of the US West

The Gay Rodeo Oral History Project is a multipronged public history project aimed at collecting, preserving, and curating stories of LGBTQ+ westerners, particularly through a partnership with the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA). Our work entails conducting interviews with rodeo association members and then presenting their lived experiences to a wider audience through a curated digital exhibit, The Voices of Gay Rodeo. In addition to our digital project, a team of collaborators and I have developed a verbatim theater piece currently titled That Damn Horse: The Stories of Gay Rodeo. This play draws from dozens of our interviews to weave together a broad conversation about the meaning and experience of gay rodeo. We have held one zoom reading and hope to stage another production after we have revised the script. Over the next year, we will be donating our collection to the Autry Museum of the American West for permanent preservation.