Michael Sam, Ian Thorpe, Amelie Mauresmo, Tom Daley, Megan Rapinoe… the list of professional, out athletes keeps growing, but that still doesn’t mean it’s always easy to be openly gay in sport. Even for amateurs it can be a challenge, even in sports that are considered to be more open-minded and laid back, like surfing.
While tackling the subject of homophobia in the surf world with his documentary “Out in the Line-Up”, Thomas Castets, founder of GaySurfers.net, asked members of the online LGBT surfing community for suggestions to improve this situation. After running a survey on GaySurfers.net, “we found that gay surfers really wanted us to create surf trips with other gay surfers”. This led them to “partner with Brazil Ecojourneys to organize a week of surfing, relaxing and yoga in the… town of Praia do Rosa in South Brazil.”
Brazil, home to the world’s biggest Pride Parade in Sao Paulo, is also home to some of the best waves in the world, making it an ideal destination for an LGBT surf trip. The LGBT-owned and operated Brazil Ecojourneys launched the first edition with GaySurfers in October 2013, with participants flying in from Canada, US and Argentina.
“We are all quite aware of the prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people in sports, but I hadn’t necessarily considered surfing as one of the last ‘bastions’ of homophobia. Watching ‘Out in the Line-Up’ was a real eye-opener, which inspired our company to reach out and partner with GaySurfers.net,” Marta Dalla Chiesa of Brazil Ecojourneys said. “We organised the first-ever LGBT Surf Camp in Brazil last year, and it was totally amazing. Besides helping fund the documentary, it showed us that there are a lot of people out there who would like to be surfing but are holding back because of homophobia they have encountered. Surfing among friends allows them to live their dream, and it is so much more fun.”
The 2014 camp will run from October 25 to November 1 in Santa Catarina, South Brazil.
For more details on the camp or about gay surfing in general, visit Brazil Ecojourneys, or contact email@example.com.