Professional surfer Craig Butler is hoping to be on the World Surf Longboard Tour as an out gay man for the first time, but he needs your help. The tour consists of 11 events taking place around the world, including Asia, Europe, South America and Australia.
Butler is no slouch. The 21-year-old Irishman has won a national championship seven times and has been ranked as high as 11th in the world.
Butler sent us this lovely note:
I am hoping to be the first openly gay professional surfer to qualify for the world longboard surf tour. I'm really trying my hardest to raise money to be able to make it to the events to qualify. I really want to be able to try and break the stigma that is attached to being gay and a professional surfer by making this tour. I see and hear news stories everyday about other gay athletes in soccer, rugby, diving, swimming, basketball. But never anything about any openly gay professional surfers.
I want to try and become a face for gay surfers. Maybe I can become someone that younger generations of surfers can look up to and be able to relate to if they find themselves struggling with their own identity. They just might be be able to see that there really is nothing wrong with being a gay surfer. It's something that I unfortunately found out the hard way.
By qualifying for this tour I will not only become the first Irish surfer to do so, but also the first openly gay surfer to make it into the spotlight for competitive surfing.
If you'd like to donate to Butler's quest, you can find him on Go Fund Me.