If the spirit of surfing is freedom, ask the makers of the upcoming documentary “Out in the Lineup,” then why do many surfers not feel free?
The answer, sadly, is that surf culture—like the cultures of so many other sports—has been hostile to LGBT athletes. This hostility drove openly gay top-five pro Robbins Thompson into early retirement and has kept countless others in the closet.
“Gay male surfers are like unicorns,” says three-time female longboarding champ Cori Schumacher in the trailer. “You hear about them, but they’re mythological beasts.”
Now that NBA center Jason Collins has come out as the first openly gay athlete in one of the big three sports, there couldn’t be a better time for a documentary like this.
Co-producer Thomas Castets has been laying the groundwork for acceptance since 2010, when he launched GaySurfers.net, the first online community of its kind for gay suffers, which has since given thousands of members a place to meet, give voice to their experiences and plan surf trips.
Now, with “Out in the Lineup,” Castets is looking to reach a wider audience. Now that athletes like Collins are helping to turn the tide, people may be willing to listen.
The film is in production and slated for December, 2013. The producers are soliciting donations to complete the project. Click here to read more.