“Fearless” Exhibition At Olympics Highlights Young Gay And Lesbian Athletes

Fantasies about Danell Leyva and Tom Daley aside, there’s been a dearth of openly gay and lesbian athletes competing at the London Olympics. But photographer Jeff Sheng is helping to remind attendees that we’re a part of competitive sports at every level with his photo series, Fearless, running as a video installation at the London Olympics’ Pride House.

Shot over the last nine years, “Fearless” features more than 150 out LGBT high-school and collegiate athletes in the U.S. and Canada and will run through the closing ceremonies on August 12. In the voiceover for the video exhibition, Sheng says, “What I’ve discovered are the stories of all these unknown people. They are high-school students and college students, some as young as 15-years-old, who face the really horrible prospect of being bullied, harassed or beaten up by their fellow teammates…  And these young people do this incredible thing —they simply say, ‘I’m going to be who I am.’”

If you’re not at the games, Nike has donated a line of “Fearless” T-shirts to help fund Sheng’s dream of turning the project into a coffee-table book next year.