Peyton Fulford started out photographing the people she wished she could be. She shot Annie and Trevor, two genderqueer friends, their heads intertwined and their hair coloured in shocks of chemical dye. There was Graham, sitting soft and ethereal in the fields just outside Athens, Georgia. Another captured Rian, her eyes fixed on Peyton’s lens amid a melange of genderless bodies wrapped in plaid skirts and tube tops.

All were among the first to pose for what would become Infinite Tenderness, an ongoing photography project celebrating queer youth in the American South – often those suddenly free from the shackles of small-town repression. But for Peyton, it was a photo of another artist named Maggy, radiating defiant cool at golden hour, that best represented her personal ideal.

“She’s fearless, open and free with who she is,” Peyton explains over the phone

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