Gay surfers are ‘OUT in the Line-up’

“OUT in the Line-up” is a movie examining the lives of gay surfers. The film follows David Wakefield and Thomas Castets 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 community: from an openly gay three-time world champion to a big-wave rider to and former U.S. Congressman to everyday surfers, both gay and straight.

gay surfers
David and Thomas on a mission

It is an important movie and one that hopefully makes surfers challenge their sport’s long-standing homophobia. Its often macho culture has meant that at best gay surfers have been ignored and, at worst, subjected to complete bullying and intimidation. The core surf media has never touched the subject, and many surfers still believe that homosexuality doesn’t exist in surfing.

Thomas Castets has been at the forefront in changing that perception and bias. He is the man behind GaySurfers.net, the first online community for gay surfers. Created in early 2010, the interest was huge from the outset. In the first six months, 2,300 gay surfers registered from 76 countries worldwide. Later that year, Gallows Beach at Coffs Harbour in Australia hosted the world’s first gay surfing competition, sanctioned by Surfing NSW with ISA-accredited judges, called the CoastOut 2010. It was a big success, scored good waves, and raised both awareness and funds for charity.

Australian David Wakefield was a NSW state champion, but turned his back on a promising career and kept his homosexuality a secret for 20 years due to the fear of rejection from family, friends, and the surfing community. However, after joining gaysurfers.net and subsequently meeting Thomas, he came out and committed to a more open life. The film showcases David’s journey in which he quits his job, packs up his house, and joins Thomas on a global journey to meet other gay surfers and bring understanding to this issue, so others won’t have to follow his path.

gay surfers
Dave Wakefield ripping it up out in the line-up
A gathering of gay surfers and supports at San Diego's Blacks Beach.
A gathering of gay surfers and supporters at San Diego’s Blacks Beach

“Thomas and I agreed that the moving and often hidden stories from many of the surfers Thomas had met through the site needed to have a voice—not as any form of self-promotion, but to help and inspire others who are struggling finding their place between surf and gay culture,” said “Out in the Line-up” writer and director Ian Thompson.

Nearing completion, the movie is sourcing funding for distribution and promotion via Kickstarter.

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