For the final project of my documentary photography class (which is my last summer class ever *high five*), we were asked to choose a relevant social issue in the city of Lubbock and create a photo essay telling a story about the issue through the eyes of someone involved.
I already knew of several different issues that I could have chosen - homelessness, animal shelter overcrowding, the monopolistic electric company - but instead, I proposed a project that was a little bit out of the ordinary, especially when considering the area that university is in.
You see; I live in a very conservative area of Texas. Lubbock has been named the second most conservative city in the United States by the Bay Area Center for Voter Research, and if it wasn't for the surprisingly liberal university, it might have been bumped up to number one.
But that doesn't mean the city is "Jesus and George Bush" all the time, everywhere. Even as a seemingly homogenous community Lubbock has great variety in its people and venues.
One example is the teeming gay scene that flies (fabulously, of course) under the radars of anyone who doesn't go out past 8:00pm on weekends.
That is what I set out to capture. This area of Texas is not like Austin, or Dallas, or any other larger city in the fact that you can drive from one end of the city to the other in 30 minutes, and it's almost like you never went anywhere. It doesn't have the overt eccentricity that Austin has, and it's not as hip or chic as Dallas...but it does have a uniqueness hidden beneath the layer of uniformity.
So please - go check out my photo essay titled "Two Worlds" to get a more comprehensive glimpse into a unique subset of Lubbock culture.