CAUGHT INSIDE: THE TABOO OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN SURFING

Producer: Gabriel Virata
Cinematographer / Editor: Miles Bence

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Despite an increase in the number of elite athletes coming out in other sports, there has never been an openly gay surfer on the professional tour. In the wider surf community, many hide their sexuality in fear of rejection, threats or ostracism. In a world where male-to-male bonding is pivotal in the formation of surf crews, there is an ever-present undercurrent of homophobia with the words “fag”, “poofter”, “homo” and “faggot” thrown around constantly to insult and abuse rival surf crews.

Surf culture is very different from many other sports, it is dictated by an extensive list of strange and complex unwritten rules - Surf break ‘ownership,' the ‘pecking order’, each individual's personal image as a surfer as well as a strong emphasis on camaraderie between fellow surfers. These long, complicated rules not only change from beach to beach but also from country to country.

The archetypal surfer is strong, tanned, athletic and masculine and presents himself armed with a tough exterior, adopting a ‘gang-like’ mentality when laying claim to their part of turf on the beach. With risk of losing sponsorship, ‘poofter bashing’, bullying in the line-up and even suicide, it is no surprise then that in the world of surfing, homosexuality is almost invisible. Surfing is a sport that presents itself with such open-mindedness, a strong connection to the ocean and freedom in spirit, yet many surfers still don’t feel so free about talking about opening up about their sexuality.

I interviewed three gay surfers in Australia, who have all recently come out in a subculture where they say homosexuality is still a taboo.

Produced for The Feed - SBS2
Duration: 07:21 minutes
Televised date: 27th April, 2014

 

Featured Media/Press:

- The Huffington Post | Exploring The Taboo Of Being A Gay Surfer

- The Backlot | "Caught Inside: The World of Gay Surfers"

- Junkee.com | Is Homosexuality Still Taboo In Surfing?

- SameSame | The Taboo Of Being A Gay Surfer

- Surfers Village | Aussie Documentary Addresses Taboo Of Homosexuality In Surfing

- Surfer Today | The Taboo Of Being A Gay Surfer

- Disorder Magazine | "Caught Inside: The Taboo of being a gay surfer"