Thursday, April 04, 2013

Surfing and sexuality

I'm pretty bogged down in work these days, so thank goodness for Facebook keeping me up to date with all those online treasures that I just can't manage to find on my own right now...

And this one is a treasure.

OUT in the line-up TEASER from Gay Surfers on Vimeo.

Out in the Lineup is a film that talks about how homophobia is an implicit and seemingly accepted part of surfing culture. In surfing, some of the worst and most violent discrimination has been levelled towards surfers who aren't straight. And this has been in many ways. I mean, how often have you heard the word 'faggot', 'gay' or 'homo' used to insult someone for not being strong/brave/fast/good enough? A lot, right. The use of these words for this purpose just doesn't make any sense to me, because my friends who are bi or gay are some of the most resilient and brave people I know. When I have heard friends tell me that they gave up surfing early on because they felt uncomfortable or out of place, because they were gay, my heart drops. Over the past few years, there have been a growing number of articles and films emerging, which have talked about this culture of fear and loathing; Fred Pawle, Clifton EversCori Schumacher and the contributors to gaysurfers.net have been particularly insightful, and this film, Out in the Lineup, looks to provide even more insight into the experiences that gay surfers continue face in surfing culture.

Homophobia doesn't make any sense to me - it defies logic. Hopefully this film can help it make less sense to other people too.

Note: The film is in production stages and is looking for finding to get it past the post. If you feel like throwing them a few dollars, you can find links under the trailer here.

2 comments:

  1. kelped6:22 AM

    very cool, thanks for posting the info about funding.

    it's funny -- surfing culture seems to like to think of itself as being ahead of the general culture. but at least here in the US, it actually feels like it lags behind the big-time sports when it comes to homophobia, sexism, etc.

    not that the other sports are clear of those things, not at all!

    but at least there are decision-makers in the NFL, the NBA who know they need to get ahead of these issues. and now there are big-time stars who speak up in support of their gay & lesbian friends, teammates, and family.

    i guess what i'm saying it's a low bar, and surfing can't seem to get over that.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, kelped.

    Surfing culture is kind of weird in terms of making changes in attitudes, because outside of the professional scene, there aren't any structures or organisations to develop policies etc. And as you say, the pro-scene is bad enough and certainly encourages sexism and other -isms seemingly unwittingly. I'm most interested in everyday surfing though - what happens out in the water for non-professional surfers. To me that seems much more positive, and that is where people of all kinds support and speak up for their friends. Then again, I'm a longboarder, so I can only speak for that scene and not shortboarding, which sometimes sounds like another world!

    As you say though, surfing is struggling to get over that low bar...

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