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Published August 18, 2022
The University of Wyoming American Heritage Center (AHC), along with other entities, is sponsoring the Cowboy State tour of “A Sissy in Wyoming,” a playwright’s reading based on the remarkable life of Wyoming educator, Vietnam veteran, activist and cross-dresser Larry “Sissy” Goodwin, who died in 2020.
The tour will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 9 in nine Wyoming communities. Written and read by Los Angeles-based playwright Gregory Hinton -- who was born in Montana and raised in Cody -- the play is drawn from oral interviews with Sissy’s wife -- author and activist Vickie Jones Goodwin -- conducted by AHC Simpson Institute Archivist Leslie Waggener.
“’A Sissy in Wyoming’ is a triumph of will, a cry for courage and a remarkable Cowboy State love story spanning 50 years," Hinton says.
Hinton, producer of the national education initiative “Out West,” co-founded “Out West in the Rockies” with the AHC in 2015 as a regional LGBTQ archive of the American West.
Additional funding for the statewide tour comes from Wyoming Humanities, the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, the Wyoming Arts Council and the Wyoming State Historical Society. The tour is timed to coincide with National LGBTQ History Month in October.
"Sissy Goodwin was a longtime Douglas resident, technology educator and Air Force veteran. As a father, he knew the importance of setting a good example for his children and standing up for what he believed in,” AHC Director Paul Flesher says. “Sissy was a cross-dresser for many decades and often posed the question why society accepted women wearing jeans but not men wearing dresses.”
The play debuted as part of Casper’s Nicolaysen Art Museum public programming during the acclaimed 2021 exhibition titled “The Fabric of His Life -- The Story of Larry ‘Sissy’ Goodwin.”
The “Sissy” tour will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at the UW Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts’ Thrust Theater, with a performance produced by UW’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
“I am so excited to be working with Gregory Hinton and the AHC to travel Wyoming with my husband’s story,” Jones Goodwin says.
All performances are free to the public or for a nominal fee at each venue. A question-and-answer discussion about the themes of “A Sissy in Wyoming” will feature Hinton and Jones Goodwin, along with local moderators, following each reading.
The rest of the statewide schedule is:
-- Cheyenne, Lincoln Theatre, Sunday, Oct. 2, 3 p.m.
-- Sheridan Public Library, Monday, Oct. 3, 4 p.m.
-- Cody, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 6 p.m.
-- Jackson, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m.
-- Rock Springs, Broadway Theater, Thursday, Oct. 6, 6 p.m.
-- Riverton, Central Wyoming College, Robert A. Peck Arts Center, Friday, Oct. 7, 6 p.m.
-- Casper College, Krampert Theatre Building, Black Box Theater, Saturday, Oct. 8, 6 p.m.
-- Douglas Public Library in Douglas, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2 p.m.