“Out in the Line-up”
Former state champion surfer, Australian David Wakefield feels ready to reveal a secret that could turn his life upside down and inside out. He has been sitting on this secret for twenty years and he is now ready for people to know that is gay. At the same time, in another place, Thomas Castets is setting up the world’s first online community for gay surfers. The two meet and for the first time David connects with someone who understands the burden he has carried for so long. Thomas encourages David to confront his fears of rejection and David comes out at the Sydney Mardi Gras parade, receiving some unexpected media attention. As he expected there were mixed reactions from friends and family but David is determined to find out why homosexuality is so hidden in surfing. He quit his job, packed up his house and joined Thomas on a global journey to bring understanding to this taboo topic. “OUT in the Line-up” follows them from the east coast of Australia to Hawaii, California, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands as they meet and surf with people from all corners of the surfing.
The two soon become part of a larger community of those who have become ready to come out and create a surfing culture that is open and accepting. As they search for surfers who are openly LGBT, they try to understand why it still seems to be a secret within the world of surfing.
Very few athletes are openly gay, even though the number is slowly increasing. What makes the sport of surfing so different, is not only the way that other surfers view those gay athletes, but the way that the business of surfing is so against homosexuality. This becomes a major theme in Out in the Line-up, from director Ian Thomson.
The old fashioned ideas of what a man and woman should look like, as well as how their sexual orientation affects product sales is at the heart of the problem in surfing. We, once again see the importance of money. Athletes make money from sponsorship, but sponsors feel that nobody will buy their product if the athlete is gay. The pressure from within the sport is incredibly strong, and a number of openly gay athletes only came out after quitting the sport.
The film is inspiring and there is great footage of surfing and this is important film. While the subject is surfing, it could be about any other sport.