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Gus Kenworthy and Robbie Rogers discuss being out in new sports documentary

Gus Kenworthy and Robbie Rogers discuss being out in new sports documentary

Robbie Rogers in the new documentary

There has long been a push and pull between the LGBTI and sports communities. Figures like Gus Kenworthy and Robbie Rogers, who are both openly gay professional athletes, discuss this dynamic in a brand new documentary, Alone in the Game.

The film, from director David L. McFarland, explores the prejudices and stereotypes of the sports world in regards to gay players.

Much of the trailer focuses on what it’s like to be part of a world where you don’t always feel like you belong.

Rogers, who recently retired from professional soccer, discusses the lack of gay icons in sports.

When loneliness leads to pain

‘No one that I knew in my small town was gay,’ Kenworthy says in the trailer. ‘No one that was in free-skiing was gay.’

Megan Rapinoe, a well-known soccer player who has competed in both the Olympics and Women’s World Cup, believes more people would be out if it weren’t for the rampant homophobia in sports.

This environment, however, can lead to a lot more than staying in the closet.

‘It was a don’t ask, don’t tell environment,’ explains basketball player Layana White. ‘It just put you further in the closet. As an athlete, you work your whole entire life for this scholarship. I felt like the only option was to just take my life.’

White did attempt suicide. She then sued Pepperdine University along with another player, Haley Videckis, because of harassment due to their sexual orientation.

Another athlete, Ryan O’Callaghan, a former football player who played for the Patriots, reveals his plan was always to kill himself after he finished his career.

Both White and O’Callaghan, as well as more athletes, share their experiences in the new documentary.

Alone in the Game, from Audience Network and AT&T, arrives on 28 June.

Need support? LGBTI helplines for those in crisis or seeking advice