Brenner Green, a freshman cross-country runner from Connecticut College, is among athletes featured in "Out for the Long Run," a documentary about high school and college gay athletes to be released next year. Connecticut College, a small liberal arts school, is so proud of Green that they highlight his involvement in the film on the front of its website.
"I feel like it's such an underrepresented lifestyle to be openly gay on a college sports team," Brenner said. "I don't think people know what's its like. There's this image of athletes as heterosexual."
... Brenner said his teammates have been welcoming and accepting. Now, he hopes that sharing his story may help other gay athletes gain the courage to come out. "There's always that worry: When I come out, that's final and everybody knows. Will I be the token gay person when I come out?" he said.
The film, being produced by Scott Bloom of Tragoidia Moving Pictures, is following, according to its website, "two Olympic gold medalists, two high school senior athletes, three college freshmen athletes, two athletic families, three coaches, several heterosexual teammates and an entire high school population. Views on the subject run the gamut." Among the techniques used are video diaries being kept by the athletes.
Bloom said he first wanted to focus only on high school athletes, but found it hard to find subjects willing to go before the camera, so broadened his reach. He discussed one aim of the film:
"I'm hoping that the stories of our athletes might pave the way for openly gay professional athletes who can serve as role models for young athletes to push themselves to be not only the best competitors they can, but also the best people."
Good luck thinking a pro athlete will come out because they see a film about out high school or college athletes. The real impact, depending on how the film is told, will be to chip away at the fear and prejudice that permeate the issue of sexuality and sport among athletes, coaches, administrators and fans. I applaud any athlete willing to tell his story.