photo by Hannah Glaw
Jack Lope is a touchstone for American masculinity, a Trojan Horse for entering ranching communities, and the greatest cowboy America has ever seen. He first appeared, yet unnamed, while the artist was working as a cowboy on cattle ranches in the Southwest. Ranching is an industry severely hamstrung by traditional gender roles, and transness is a non-option. Embodying masculine dress, mannerisms, and speech allowed the artist to be taken more seriously, learn faster, and, most importantly, ride more. Jack Lope’s videos and performances shed some light on the unspoken rules and histories of cowboying: explaining dress codes; sharing the country music that counts as real cowboy music; and exemplifying how to best show off one’s cowboying abilities through Snapchat.
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