A champion surfer since the early 1990’s, David Wakefield grew conflicted with his chosen profession. David is gay, and homosexuality is not acceptable in surf culture. Fearing rejection from his closest friends and family, David kept his secret hidden for 20 years and it soon became a major stumbling block that prevented him from enjoying his passion for surfing.
Eventually David discovers GaySurfers.net, an online community for gay surfers run by Thomas Castets. Inspired by Thomas’ work, David reaches out to the group and forms a friendship with Thomas. Working through the challenges of being gay in a subculture where homosexuality is taboo, David builds up the courage to finally come out at the Sydney Mardi Gras. His message is received with mixed reactions. Some of his fanbase and supporters are shocked by his omission, others are angry and disappointed in the champion they’ve long revered as a role model.
David and Thomas decide to meet and travel the world. As they journey from Australia to Hawaii, through the US, and to Africa, they engage with many other gay surfers and invite this long-afraid population to come out into the open and be proud of who they are. Their story is inspirational, and one that challenges the supposed norms of a subculture.
“In surfing the word freedom is often bandied about, but here, right before the viewers, is a person experiencing a transformative response to real freedom – finally able to express the real person inside”
— Stu Nettle, Swellnet
Did You Know?
Throughout the film, Out in the Line-Up, David and Thomas meet many members of the gay community across the globe. Among these guests is US Congressman Barney Frank. Representing the state of Massachusetts since the Reagan administration, the honourable Barney Frank is wed to long-time life partner Jim Ready, making this the first legally recognized same-sex marriage of a US Congressman. Review our Gay Themed Documentaries Here
All pictures reproduced courtesy of Out In The Line-Up