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How gay rodeos upend assumptions about life in rural America

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Gay rodeos challenge longstanding notions of what it means to be a cowboy in America (Photo: Adam in Utah, 2019. By Luke Gilford) The misguided assumption that rural America is hopelessly backward and bigoted erases centuries of same-sex relationships in rural communities.

It tells young queer people that they must flee their rural hometowns to far-flung cities in order to find safety and acceptance. That’s why we see so much value in the work of photographer Luke Gilford.

For National Anthem, his collection of images recently on display at Manhattan’s SN37 Gallery, Gilford photographed participants in the International Gay Rodeo Association.

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