DOCUMENTARY SHOWS HEALING POWER OF LGBT SPORTS
“Out for the Run” celebrates everyday LGBT athletes and the transformative influence of international running club Front Runners.
NEW YORK (May 11, 2017) – A new documentary shines light on the achievements and transformations of everyday LGBT athletes through the lens of Front Runners, the international LGBT running club whose members have discovered identity, community, family and careers together for nearly 40 years. The film profiles individual athletes as a microcosm of the massive change unfolding in our society as LGBT becomes a subset of the mainstream one step at a time.
Creator Da Ping Luo, a member of Front Runners New York since 2008, got the idea from his own and friends’ positive changes with the help of the club. For example, A.J. underwent successful gender reassignment surgery with emotional and financial support from teammates and now is a fulfilled husband with a three-year-old son. Jonathan went from a couch potato to a six-time marathoner after attending a Saturday Fun Run in New York’s Central Park. And Merrill, a decorated collegiate runner, found long-sought acceptance of “being just me” after confronting years of dirty looks, jealousy and whispers from reluctant teammates.
“For every one of the famous amateur and professional athletes that come out and make headlines, there are thousands of everyday LGBT athletes gaining acceptance, courage, inspiration and direction in life from active participation in sports,” said Luo, who flunked high-school gym class but became a marathoner and triathlete with support from Front Runners. “LGBT sports clubs like Front Runners serve as the center of a more fulfilling life for so many people. Whether you’re gay or straight, you can relate to the power of knowing yourself, gaining acceptance and building community around who you really are.”
Luo began filming “Out for the Run” in 2013, and has filmed Front Runners in 12 locations (including Gay Games IX in Cleveland) as well as a probing interview with Patricia Nell Warren, whose 1974 best seller The Front Runner tells a tragic tale of a gay Olympian struggling for public acceptance of his sexuality. Warren’s work inspired a generation of LGBT runners to bust stereotypes, create social frameworks for belonging, and make their sport a unifying force.