We at Outsports are so proud to share news of the release of FEARLESS: Portraits of LGBT Student Athletes. The book – full of photographs and essays – is the culmination of 13 years of work by photographer Jeff Sheng. Sheng has crafted a powerful work and is selling it for only $39.95 – frankly, we were shocked at the low price. But for Sheng it was more important to get the book into the hands of young athletes and people in search of inspiration.

There are eight covers of the book, each on with a different color of the rainbow. You get to select the cover – each with a different color and athlete – you'd like for your copy.

The book also features a moving afterward by former NBA player Jason Collins.

Check out the official news release below, and be sure to order your book as copies are limited.

LOS ANGELES (June 9, 2015) — Somebody Books announces the release of FEARLESS: Portraits of LGBT Student Athletes, a photography book and personal memoir by American artist Jeff Sheng. Recalling his experience as a closeted high school student athlete in the 1990s, Sheng uses his own story as a foundation for a wider exploration of the current LGBT rights movement.

Woven throughout the 316-page book are photographic portraits of 202 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender high school and college athletes from the United States and Canada taken by the author over a 13-year span between 2003 and 2015.

The book also includes intimate writings from some of the featured athletes and concludes with an afterword essay by retired professional NBA basketball player Jason Collins.

Collins writes: “Coming out is one of the bravest actions that a person can take. The fact that these individuals are so young, still in high school and college, makes their decision to step forward even more remarkable. It gives us hope and makes us proud to see the next generation boldly embracing their true selves at such a young age. They are individuals that come from different races, religions, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Their images displayed in this book are truly inspirational.”

FEARLESS: Portraits of LGBT Student Athletes is now available for sale at [fearlessbookstore.com] and will start shipping to the public the last week of June, the timing coinciding with the 45th anniversary of the first LGBT pride marches held in New York and San Francisco in 1970. The book also pays homage to the original 8-stripe LGBT pride flag designed by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. Instead of just one cover, FEARLESS has 8 different specialty athlete covers showcasing the diversity of the LGBT sports community. (All books are identical inside). When stacked together, the 8 different book versions form a three-dimensional representation of the original 1978 LGBT pride flag.

Jeff Sheng is an American artist whose photographic work over the last decade has focused on the 21st century LGBT rights movement. His photographs have been featured in international publications, including The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, and The New Yorker. Since 2006, his photo series Fearless, which this book is based on, has been exhibited at over 70 different venues, including the headquarters of Nike and ESPN, as well as select locations at the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics. His other well known series, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (2009-2011), about closeted United States military service members, was profiled in 2010 by the New York Times, ABC World News Tonight, and CNN.

Jason Collins is a retired American professional basketball player of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Collins was selected in the first round of the 2001 draft and played for 13 years until his retirement in 2014. Throughout his career he played for New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota, Atlanta, Boston, Washington and the Brooklyn Nets (formerly the New Jersey Nets). After the 2012-13 NBA season concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay in a cover story for Sports Illustrated, becoming the first active male player in any of the four major American professional sports to announce that he is gay. In April 2014, Collins was featured on the cover of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”


About the Book:

FEARLESS: Portraits of LGBT Student Athletes (Hardcover, 8.5″ x 11″ vertical, 316pp, published by Somebody Books, $39.50 at [fearlessbookstore.com]) was printed using five-color process inks, by offset lithography, and Smyth sewn in 21 signatures. The book was designed by New York-based design firm Isometric Studio and printed by Colonial Printing, a division of Integrity Graphics Inc., in Warwick, Rhode Island.

About the Publisher:

Somebody Books is an independent publisher based in Los Angeles. The firm works with artists, photographers, and graphic designers, connecting them with funding sources and production agents, to oversee the creation of specialty books and works of art that would normally not be produced by mass-market publishers.

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