Out in the Line-Up: Uncovering the Taboo of Homosexuality in Surfing

Expected to attend: Subjects Cori Schumacher and Keala Kennelly, Interviewees Barney Frank, Jim Ready, and producer Don Reddin

Surfers have a well-earned reputation for independence and cheeky iconoclasm. So it’s a paradox that the professional surfing world has remained a confining closet for gay men and lesbians who live to ride the waves. This action-packed documentary seeks to understand the taboo of homosexuality in surf culture and introduces us to a growing cadre of bold athletes who dare to be “out in the line-up.”

The film charts the friendship of two gay surfers—Australian state champion Dave Wakefield, whose gradual professional coming out is chronicled in the film, and Thomas Castets, the founder of Gaysurfers.net. They bring their boards and cameras to the great beaches of the world, meeting with dozens of pro and amateur surfers, including three-time World Surfing Champion Cori Schumacher; her wife, Maria Cerda; surfing photographer Jim Ready; and his husband, Rep. Barney Frank—all of whom candidly discuss the challenges (and joys) of being an outsider in a tight-knit surfing community. Many are struggling to change the persistent surf-world stereotypes (basically, macho dudes and hot babes) perpetuated by image-conscious surfing authorities and sponsors.

This documentary features terrific surfing cinematography, plenty of sun-drenched bodies, and a great surf-rock soundtrack. But the real appeal is the athletes: their passion for their sport—and for total inclusion—is infectious.

— Marcus Wonacott



DIR Larissa Behrendt 2014 Australia 8 min

Told by an indigenous Australian rugby player, this documentary short is a poetic and gorgeously shot first-person testimonial of coming out.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D322

Co-presented by:
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
San Francisco Fog Rugby

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