After 20 years of silence, Australian surfer David Wakefield came out at the Sydney Mardi Gras parade. He had been encouraged onward by Thomas Castets, founder of GaySurfers.net, an online community for gay surfers. Then they set out to force conversation about why LGBT surfers feel the need to stay hidden.
"The industry has made millions of dollars selling the image of the straight white male and bikini-clad female surfers," Castets told Out. "Most people buy into this stereotype and reject whatever is different, which is why many gay surfers prefer to remain silent."
In a new documentary, Out In the Line-up, Wakefield and Thomas go from the east coast of Australia to Hawaii, California, Mexico, and the Galapagos Islands and meet and surf with people while hearing their stories. They meet a gay three-time world champion, an award-winning big wave rider, and even a former U.S. congressman. Wakefield and Castets also meet everyday surfers, gay and straight, who inspire them with tales of self-empowerment. What they hope is that sharing these stories will tap into surfing’s grassroots values of freedom of spirit and open-mindedness to create a change in surf culture.
See a few images from the film below:
June Screening Dates:
• The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (Frameline)
June 27 at 7 p.m.