President Obama signed into law the repeal of the U.S. military’s controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” that prevented homosexuals from openly serving in the military on December 22, 2010. In America, gay rights advocates have been making great strides in equality of sexual preference, and public perception is shifting to being more accepting of same sex marriage. But there is one aspect of American culture that has been very reluctant to accept gays, and that is the world of sports. Just try and name a single ‘out’ professional or collegiate football, basketball or baseball player.
American artist Jeff Sheng created a new ten-minute video expedition that features photographs from over 150 lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual athletes that he hopes will change some entrenched ideas about gays in sports. The project is called “Fearless” and it is on display through the close of the 2012 summer Olympics in London.
How can gay athletes feel free to be open about their sexuality in the world of competitive sports? Why is the sporting world so reluctant to accept gay athletes?
Jeff Sheng, photographer, artist and the creator of “Fearless”