Sport has been a straight man’s club since the first official wrestling match. That’s changing as one by one, recognizable athletes come out on the grand stage of professional and Olympic sports. While these athletes are inspirational, what about the extraordinary transformations and more accessible achievements of everyday LGBT athletes? This film will spotlight an underexposed creative and cultural phenomenon – LGBT athletes discovering identity, community, family and even careers – within grassroots groups all dedicated to the sport of running. Published 40 years ago, Patricia Nell Warren’s The Front Runner tells the tragic tale of a gay Olympian who struggles for public acceptance of his sexuality. Her work inspired a generation of LGBT runners to bust stereotypes, create social frameworks for belonging, and make their sport a unifying force. Today there are independent Front Runners groups in cities around the world. This film will focus on the runners themselves and their amazing stories of realization and transformation. They are a microcosm of the massive change going on in our society, as LGBT becomes a subset of the mainstream one step at a time. The power of their stories extends beyond the LGBT community. The poignant messages of knowing yourself, acceptance and building community will inspire viewers everywhere – gay and straight alike.
We started filming in 2013, and have since been to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Cleveland for GayGames9, and most recently London, UK. We are anticipating to produce a final cut in 2018 to potentially coincide with GayGames10 in Paris, France.
“If not for Front Runners,
I don’t know what would have happened.”
– Dave Pitches
“Love is when you fry the other person’s bacon even if you’re a vegetarian.”
– Patricia Nell Warren, from The Front Runner
– Megan Coryat
“Every race I do, I have to wear my singlet, because I want everybody to know that I’m a Front Runner.”
– Gilbert Gaona
– Lenore Beaky, Front Runners New York
“Before Front Runners, I was Meryl the gay sister, the gay cousin, the really fast girl that was on my team that was gay… with Front Runners, it’s so nice to identify with people who can just say – it’s Meryl.”
– Meryl Wimberley, Front Runners New York
It takes a small village to make films happen,
I couldn’t have done it without the help of the following people
– whether through your generosity of wisdom, hospitality, or funds –
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Please send us a message if you're interested in being a part of this project!