Ah, Sports. A form of entertainment & exercise that has long had issues with the queer community due to the masculine-driven, homophobic nature of team sports. In fact, that’s something that four of this month’s films specifically address. There’s a delicate balance, almost a juxtaposition, because team sports, the locker rooms situation, and of course, group showers, that fuel both our sports-related fantasies yet equally creates a hostile, unwelcoming environment. Many queer youth often struggle with gym and sports growing up. They don’t feel welcome because the boys aren’t “manly enough”, or girls aren’t welcome in certain sports reserved for men, and so many other reasons.
All of this month’s Queer Sport Films deal with these topics in unique ways. “Shelter” is one of my favourite films ever – and it’s not just because both boys are sexy surfers! “Eleven Men Out”, “Mario”, and “Guys And Balls (Männer wie wir)” all handle the difficult topic of coming out while playing on sports teams. “Guys And Balls (Männer wie wir)” takes it from a comedic viewpoint, while the other two queer sport coming out films dig deeper into the darker arena of homophobia and reject in professional sports. The last film simply takes sport stereotypes and turns them upside down – and it’s a biopic based on the real life story of trans Muay Thai boxer, Nong Toom.
Don’t worry, it’s not all serious and there’s plenty of shower scenes to tease the sports fantasy lovers among us! However, all five of these Queer Sport films are incredible assets to the Queer film oeuvre. Though most of this month’s films are foreign (sorry for those of us who speak English!), they are all worth watching for the important stories that they recount.
Discover more about each film, and let me know which one is your favourite Queer Sport Film!
[Note: Not all of these films have full reviews yet – but they’re added to the quickly growing list of films I plan to tackle soon!]