The New Civil Rights Movement was proud to bring you coverage of the out LGBT athletes competing in the Olympics and the Paralympics, and now it’s time to turn our attention to high school and college sports.
Photographer Jeff Sheng has spent the more than nine years traveling across the United States and Canada to photograph out high school and college-level athletes. The project, called Fearless, will be a book of photography documenting these extraordinary youth.
Going into his tenth year of the project, Jeff is seeking backers to make the book a reality. Those who are interested can learn more and make a donation on the Fearless Kickstarter page. Backers have raised more than half of the $50,000 needed to cover production costs, but there are only eight days left in the campaign.
Supporters will be in good company. Out former NBA basketball player John Amaechi has also endorsed the project.
“I was a former closeted high school athlete,” say Sheng. “I felt that because of homophobia in sports, I could not be out and on a sports team at the same time.” Sheng hopes that Fearless will help change that.
A 10-minute video documentary exhibition based on this work was shown at Pride House during the 2012 London Olympics. “By narrating the history of the project and what it means to him, Jeff Sheng has brought the power of these young lives home to viewers who see their engagement in sport and their courage in being out,” said Marc Naimark, Pride House coordinator for the Federation of Gay Games. “It’s a lesson for us all, whatever our age, whatever our athletic pursuits.”
Keph Senett is a Canadian writer whose passions for travel and soccer have led her to play the beautiful game on four continents. When not writing about human rights, soccer/football, LGBT and gender issues and her own folly at kephsenett.com, Keph’s writing about travel over at A Bus Called Forward. Keph spends her free time trying to figure out how to qualify for a soccer squad in Asia, Australia or Antarctica.
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