LGBT Athletes & Soldiers

Posted by – November 25, 2009

I missed it, & maybe you did too, but here’s Jeff Sheng’s Fearless photography series, which is a collection of photos of out LGBT athletes.
I discovered it via The LA Times’ blog and Sheng’s new series called Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
= Amazing work.

What amazes me particularly about the first set is how images of LGBT people tends to focus on white people in particular, & then too on men. Gathering their photos based on this other part of their identity – their atheleticism – gives a much larger range of racial & ethnic identity, & a much larger range of genders, too.

3 Comments on LGBT Athletes & Soldiers

  1. SusanK says:

    Thanks. I think it shows the obviousness which folks don’t want to see, let alone admit, we’re all normal. But it shows, to me, the problem between lgb and t athletes, the invisibility of the former and the often public view of the latter. It’s easier for lgb to hide in plain sight as ordinary as everyone else, and the display of them makes people think (“Wow, I didn’t know.”), but the t can’t hide because of rules, and the display of them makes people wince (“Why do they let them compete as women/men when they’re not.”). After all look at the athletes who have come out after retiring, but what transathlete can do the same? And they wonder why there is a difference between lgb and t?

  2. genderkid says:

    Wow. I’d love to hear these people’s stories, especially the trans athletes’. Even if they’re at a trans friendly place that recognizes their gender identity, sports can be tough for people with trans bodies. For instance, I love gym class, but I can’t bind when I exercise –I need the full capacity of my lungs– and that makes me very uncomfortable. Even if I did feel fine about my body –as many trans people are– I’d likely still have trouble with my classmates (in the showers, for instance).

    I couldn’t tell for sure, but one of the swimmers from the series seemed to be trans. Now that’s brave.

  3. TrishMifflin says:

    > how images of LGBT people tends to focus on white people in particular,
    > & then too on men.

    True … I suspect that just as society tends to be heteronormative, American society still tends to be “Caucasio-normative.”

    Worse, as you know, there is tremendous pressure put on LGBT people of color, particularly by pastors in the African-American community (I suspect also in the Latino-American community, but I don’t have first-hand knowledge), so I think people of color who are LGBT are much more likely to stay out of the spotlight.

    What Wanda Sykes did was tremendously brave, because I suspect she lost some fans, but she seems to have a spine of steel.

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