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WATCH: Queer cowboys run the ranch in modern Western ‘National Anthem’

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National Anthem. And now, he’s turned those ideas and that imagery into a narrative feature film of the same name.National Anthem is told through the eyes of Dylan (Lean On Pete‘s Charlie Plummer), a young man living in New Mexico and working construction jobs to support his family.When he’s offered a job at the House Of Splendor—a homestead run by a group of queer ranchers—Dylan has his eyes opened to a whole new way of life, one where his preconceived notions of gender and cowboy bravado re thrown out the door.The more time he spends working at the House Of Splendor, the more he immerses himself in the community.

Emboldened by his new surroundings, Dylan finds himself trying bull-riding for the first time, trying out drag for the first time, and even falling in love for the first time.With ‘Strange Way Of Life,’ the western is having its long-overdue coming out party.The latter comes in the form of Sky (Bros‘ Eve Lindley), a trans woman who lives on the ranch who happens to be in a relationship with its impresario, Pepe (The Conners‘ Rene Rosado).

But just because she’s partnered up, that doesn’t mean the door is closed on romance, and Dylan soon learns that love doesn’t have to be some binary thing either.Though Gilford has helmed a number of short films and music videos (for artists including Kesha and Troye Sivan) National Anthem marks his directorial debut, inspired by the people and places he encountered while embarking on his photography project.“National Anthem celebrates the beauty and resilience of the typically invisible queer bodies living their lives, discovering themselves, and falling in love within rural America,” Gilford told Queerty last year.“To me, these are the figures who return the aura of promise to the concept of America,” he continued.

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