Thursday, October 22, 2009

Search for LGBT Athletes for 2010 Olympic Fearless Project

Dear LGBT’er or ally,

We wanted to let you know about an exciting artistic project involving LGBT athletes now coming to Canada as part of the 2010 Pride House as we are hoping you (or someone you know) will want to participate.

For the last 5 years, Jeff Sheng has been photographing athletes on high school, college and university varsity sports teams who also openly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. The project is called "Fearless" and so far it has been mostly based in the United States, where Jeff has photographed almost 90 athletes, and has been exhibited at over 40 venues, including ESPN headquarters in the US and the LGBT International Human Rights conference in Copenhagen in 2009. You can see the project at

Thanks to a grant by the St. Paul's Hospital Foundation in Vancouver and efforts by the GayWhistler’s PRIDE House in partnership with Qmunity in Vancouver, we are very excited to be expanding "Fearless" into Canada. Jeff Sheng will be in Vancouver and Whistler photographing for the project in a few weeks (November 19-22). We are currently looking for any volunteers who would like to participate, specifically out LGBT athletes who play sports on their high school, college or university varsity team, or those who may be training full-time as high performance athletes. We are hoping to have a range of LBGT athletes from different winter and summer sports, both able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability.

If you are (or know of) an LGBT athlete who is not out, an aspect of the project that we are introducing for the Canadian project is also collecting anonymous stories/testimonials as to why athletes are not able to be out in their sport.

The Canadian version of Fearless will be exhibited at the first ever Pride House during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Whistler and Vancouver.

So, if you would like to participate, please let us know. Or, if you know of someone who might like to participate, please do pass this email on.

If you have any questions about the project, you can contact Jeff Sheng, the artist directly at If you would like to get in touch about participating in the project, please send an e-mail to Jennifer at who will be working with Jeff to co-ordinate the schedule for the week of filming up in Vancouver and Whistler. All responses will be treated in confidence.

Thanks very much. We hope to hear from you.

Dean Nelson
Co-Lead, Canadian Fearless Project
Executive Producer, PRIDE House 2010

Jennifer Birch-Jones
Co-Lead, Canadian Fearless Project
CAAWS Program Lead, Addressing Homophobia in Sport Initiative

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