Event looks to encourage LGBTQ athletes

In Sports
The Fearless Project will showcase a collection of portraits from Jeff Sheng that show student-athletes who have come 'out' to their teammates.  (Courtesy of CSUF)
The Fearless Project will showcase a collection of portraits from Jeff Sheng that show student-athletes who have come ‘out’ to their teammates.
(Courtesy of CSUF)

The Associated Students Inc. LGBT/Queer Resource Center will continue its celebration of LGBTQ History Month on Wednesday as Jeff Sheng presents his Fearless Project to Cal State Fullerton students.

Sheng has traveled the nation photographing and exhibiting the stories of LGBTQ student athletes who are “out” to their teammates. Fearless aims to display the bravery that over one hundred athletes have demonstrated by simply being themselves.

As a young athlete, Sheng felt that he “could not be ‘out’ and play collegiate sports at the same time,” according to an excerpt in his Fearless Project Kickstarter page.

Over the years, his project has grown to feature over a hundred athletes from campuses and organizations throughout the country. Recently, Sheng released a compilation of his work in his photobook “FEARLESS: Portraits of LGBT Student Athletes.”

The Fearless Project event on campus intends to spread awareness for acceptance of LGBTQ athletes in sports. Sheng and the LGBT/Queer Resource Center will be giving away eight copies of his photobook to attendees.

Joy Hoffman Ed.D., Director of Diversity Initiatives and Resource Centers, believes that these events can be effective opportunities to build safe avenues for students to feel more comfortable.

“It’s a way to show athletes on campus that it’s okay to be gay and be an athlete at the same time,” Hoffman said.

Following the Fearless Project event, ASI will host the LGBTQ History Month Presents University President Reception with Jeff Sheng event on Thursday to present the same message from the day before, but to multiple campus leaders.

The Fearless Project Event will take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Titan Gym. The President Reception will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Fullerton Arboretum.

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