By Peter Boag
On the flip of the 20th century, distinctive, but every now and then overlapping, male same-sex sexual subcultures had emerged within the Pacific Northwest: one amongst the lads and boys who toiled within the region's logging, fishing, mining, farming, and railroad-building industries; the opposite one of the younger city white-collar staff of the rising company order. Boag attracts on police logs, courtroom documents, and newspaper debts to create a brilliant photo of the lives of those males and youths--their sexual practices, cultural networks, cross-class kinfolk, diversifications in rural and concrete reviews, and ethnic and racial affects.
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Additional info for Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest
He described how men left the cut-over Great Lakes region in the latter 1800s and made “the ghastly trip across [the Great] plains where there weren’t even stumps to look at, and struck for the PaciWc Northwest and California; many of them moved direct to British Columbia. ]”10 Economic conditions also contributed to worker transience. Although the Northwest economy enjoyed an overall robustness throughout this era, external and sometimes random forces produced instability. Outside control of transportation and resources, regional dependence on nonindigenous sources for investment capital, periodic overproduction as a result of competition and abundance, and especially the Northwest’s reliance on distant rather than local markets all contributed to extreme volatility in the region’s economy.
54 Although some of these examples bespeak child molestation and an unwillingness on the part of boys to engage in some sexual relations with men, many youths sought out men for sexual pleasure. Flynt reported that some of the punks he encountered in the 1890s told him that “they get as much pleasure out of the aVair as the jocker does. . [L]ittle fellows under ten . . describe it as a delightful tickling sensation in the parts involved. . ” Alfred Kinsey’s research for roughly the same period corroborates Flynt’s observations.
A Sexual Geography of the Road When twenty-nine-year-old Ted Gladden left his Minnesota home for a life on the roads of the PaciWc Northwest in 1909, he entered into a largely male social world that traced its roots deep into history. At various times and places this transient world has countenanced and even promoted sexual relations between its participants. The historian B. R. 16 So common did homosexual practices become that the migrants considered such intimacies to be ordinary, while the broader society viewed them as exotic transgressions.
Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest by Peter Boag