top of page

Michael Young

For my partner, Erik, each trip back to Greenville, Kentucky is filled with nostalgia for a carefree childhood spent playing in the woods, mixed with an unmet longing to reconcile with a place he still struggles to wholeheartedly call home. From the pulpit, local Southern Baptist ministers continue to preach eternal damnation for those who challenge their literal interpretations of the Bible.

As a queer photographer from New York, “Maybe Tomorrow” has provided me with a means to gain a deeper understanding of my partner's past, family dynamics, and the place where he grew up. While photographing his relatives, their friends and others in the region, I noticed that gender conformity is essential to fitting into this conservative community. Over time, I’ve become more attuned to the subtle ways gender norms are shaped, maintained, reinforced, and challenged.

Since our first trip as a couple to Kentucky, which began over a decade ago, my intention has always been to make photographs that depict my new Southern family, their friends, and the community around Greenville with honesty and empathy. Rather than perpetuating problematic stereotypes associated with flyover
country, my objective is to portray the intricate connection between gender roles and identity by highlighting the ways people in this community present themselves. “Maybe Tomorrow” is ultimately an open narrative about the ways in which place informs culture.

bottom of page