Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category
JANE ESPENSON & BRAD BELL
CAST OF ‘THE NEW NORMAL’
ERIC DANE & REBECCA GAYHEART
TED DANSON & MARY STEENBURGEN
A straight Tennessee man is ‘coming out’ with a new memoir about his year-long social experiment on living life as a gay American.
After a twenty-year run on public television, the LGBT magazine show ‘In the Life’ is leaving the air.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has found its new permanent president.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation–or GLAAD–held its 23rd Annual Media Awards in New York City on Saturday, March 24th.
The Human Rights Campaign is using an annual Washington, DC, photography festival to showcase those at the center of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ debate.
There’s more to look at at Pride House Whistler than just the TV screens and the handsome hosts. The place is filled with original art work, from Gilbert Baker’s rainbow paintings to Edmund Haakonson’s nude hockey player, Slapshotolus.
There’s also Jeff Sheng’s photo exhibit Fearless, a collection of photographs of out LGBT high school and college athletes. Jeff launched the exhibit this weekend at both locations of Pride House. You can see a number of the photos on the wall at Pride House Whistler.
Here are some excerpts of a conversation I had with Jeff:
OutQ: How did you get the idea to photograph out gay athletes?
Jeff: I was a closeted athlete in high school. I played tennis fairly competitively, and I quit the sport in college because of my perceived homophobia that I felt from my potential teammates from my college tennis team. I met more athletes who had a lot of similar homophobic stories to share who were closeted or coming out, and I decided that, in 2003, I’d begin this photo project on out high school and college athletes.
OutQ: When you say that you perceived homophobia in tennis, what was it that made you feel like it wasn’t safe for you to come out?
Jeff: There would always be things said about other people who were perceived to be gay. In high school, for instance, a rival tennis coach had mannerisms that many people would associate with being gay–even though I know they’re blatant stereotypes. And the tennis team in high school made so much fun of him that the coach of our team told us to stop. There was also a senior when I was a freshman on the high school tennis team who came out, and we made fun of him so much that he quit the team.
OutQ: You made fun of him?
Jeff: Yeah. I mean, that’s part of the story too. When you’re 14 or 15 years old, and you’re a freshman in high school, you often times do things just because you think they’re cool or other people on the other team-seniors, juniors-lead, and you follow their example, whether it’s good or bad.
OutQ: So is this project a bit of repentance for you then?
Jeff: Yes, very much so. It’s repentance in many ways. One is that I very much regret quitting the sport. That was a decision I made in my life that I look back on and wish I hadn’t done. And the other is yes, the fact that, when I was younger, I wasn’t able to come out in high school. I came out in college, so I was never an out competitive high school or collegiate athlete. In many ways this photo project is trying to capture these heroes of mine that I very much look up to.
OutQ: How did you find out gay athletes?
Jeff: It was really hard. The first year of the project, in 2003, I sent out mass emails to any organization–colleges, universities, high schools. I got very few responses. I finally was able to photograph maybe 10 athletes in 2004, five athletes in 2005, and it felt like the project wasn’t going anywhere. In 2006, I started exhibiting the project at high schools and colleges around the country. More and more campuses started inviting me to their schools. And slowly, as the project got more buzz and reputation, I got more athletes to volunteer.
To read the rest of the interview and see more photos, click the link below.