Avery Stone, an out lesbian hockey player at Amherst College, tells the story of visiting Bryant University recently to speak about her participation in Jeff Sheng's Fearless campaign photo series. Before she got to her speaking engagement, someone at the school had stolen all of Sheng's photos from the exhibit. Stone writes about her feelings about the incident for the Huffington Post:
Since I came out as a lesbian my junior year at boarding school, I have never witnessed a premeditated hate crime. But that does not mean it has been easy. I am now a sophomore at Amherst College, an elite liberal arts school with what's advertised as an open-minded student body. When I started at Amherst, I was confident and ready to be out in a new community.
However, upon my arrival, girls told me I was too pretty to be gay. Guys told me I was too hot to be a dyke, or that they would turn me straight. I discovered I was one of the only out varsity athletes at Amherst, and felt isolated. I was bullied by a teammate for my sexuality but did not feel I could speak out. Closeted athletes told me their secrets and then ignored me or talked behind my back. Although much of the homophobia I've witnessed at Amherst is often indirect, or even meant to be complimentary to me, it still stings with ignorance. I've often wondered: If it is this hard to be an LGBT athlete at Amherst College, what is it like at other campuses around the country?
Now she knows: It's hit-and-miss. She said various students at Bryant apologized for the apparent homophobia at their school. But others felt so compelled against gay athletes that they would make Bryant the first school ever to have Sheng's exhibit attacked.