A documentary about gay surfers that will premiere in film festivals next year aims to challenge stereotypes and shed light on the stifling taboo of homosexuality in surfing.
OUT In The Line Up revolves around David Wakefield and Thomas Castets, two gay Australian-based surfers who travel to surfing hot spots around the world in an attempt to tackle the issue and create positive change.
“We decided to go on a round-the-world trip to meet other gay surfers,” said Castets, who hails from France but calls Australia home.
Castets is the creator and co-producer of the film, and also the founder of GaySurfers.net, the first global social network for gay surfers with more than 5000 members.
He said he believed gay surfers were “very invisible” and closeted, and he wanted people to realise this was an issue and that they deserved more visibility.
“There is no one, no role models, no gay surfers,” he said.
“Surfing is an amazing lifestyle experience and everyone should be welcomed.
“But there’s a stereotype that surfers want to look like… they’re scared of looking different. You are only different in the way you surf.”
He said one of the stereotypes was the lack of expression of emotions, for fear of being ostracised as being effeminate.
In the documentary, Castets and Wakefield – a former champion surfer of 20 years who came out of the closet during the 2011 Mardi Gras Parade – meet three-time world champion Cori Schumacher, big wave surfer Keala Kennelly, former US Congressman Barney Frank and his surfer husband Jim Ready, Australian surf icon and commentator Nell Schofield, and many more.
Castets said they also faced many obstacles while filming, such as meeting surfers who declined to be filmed, and attempting to obtain comments from Association of Surfing Professionals, whom he said “had a fear of saying the wrong thing”.
“We had so many issues trying to talk to them,” he said.
The documentary is now in post-production, and set for release in early 2014.
In the meantime, Castets is running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help fund post-production and distribution for the film.
To donate, visit http://outinthelineup.com/