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Historians Share Unknown Stories Of LGBTQ Representation In Idaho

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Idaho Statesman collection, Boise State University Library Special Collections.
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Unspecified members of the Boise 7.

 

Have you heard of “the Boise 7?”

 

In honor of Pride month, Idaho Matters takes a look back at some forgotten (or unknown) parts of LGBTQ history in Idaho. 

The Idaho State Historic Preservation Office recently compiled some of these stories of representation on their Facebook page.

 

Historian Alan Virta researched the story of seven women who were fired from the Boise Police Department in 1977 under the suspicion they were gay. He says activists rallied in support of the women, who sought justice in federal court.

 

“These really were the first instance of Idaho's gay community coming together for a very public protest or demonstration,” says Virta. 

 

In the end, the women known as the “Boise Seven” only received some back pay and the police department was scolded. But Virta says it was a turning point for LGBTQ visibility in Idaho. 

 

Dan Everhart, a historian at the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office, says stories like the “Boise Seven” highlight the broad range of Idaho history that isn’t always told.

 

“We tell diverse stories to better understand underrepresented communities and underrepresented history,” says Everhart.

 

Historians telling more of these lesser known stories, says Everhart, isn’t just an Idaho initiative, but a nationwide movement. 

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters

Molly Wampler is a newsroom intern at Boise State Public Radio. Originally from Berkeley, California, she just graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Washington state. There, Molly worked for her university's newspaper but is stoked to try her hand at and learn all there is to learn about radio journalism.