Luke Gilford grew up steeped in rodeo culture, but it wasn’t until 2016 that he stumbled onto the queer rodeo scene.The photographer and filmmaker spent the next four years documenting the subculture’s many varied angles, culminating in a stunning book called National Anthem.Now, folks in New York City can witness this “celebration of outsiders and the beauty of chosen families” in person at Gilford’s first exhibit in the city.
It runs from now through August 28 at SN37 Gallery (204 Front Street) in the Seaport.“The mainstream rodeo world is, you know, obviously, very homophobic and conservative,” Gilford told The Guardian. “There’s so much machismo.
It’s racist.” For Gilford, then, the discovery of the more inclusive queer rodeo scene offered a kind of intrigue. “We all know what a rodeo is,” he observes, “and we all know what queer is.
We don’t think of them going together.”Speaking about the book’s title and inspiration, Gilford said: “We’re taught in school to recite the national anthem every morning.