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First-Ever Olympic PRIDE House Exhibits Portraits of LGBT Athletes

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PRIDE House, the first-ever Olympic pavilion catering to LGBT athletes, coaches and sports fans, will exhibit American photographer Jeff Sheng’s celebrated photo series Fearless during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

In 2003, Sheng began photographing over young athletes across the United States who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. These courageous individuals continue to defy stereotyped images of LGBT athletes and challenge homophobia on the field and in the locker room. Now, the Fearless series features over 100 amateur athletes and has travelled to over 40 high school and college campuses nationwide. (Photos from the series can be found below)

“I started the project to encourage a discussion about homophobia in sports and the way it adversely affects gay and lesbian athletes,” Sheng told ABC’s World News Tonight. “What I hope that people get when they look at the images is that they see pictures of people that they recognize – images that look like their friends, maybe even people in their family – and that they begin to look at the gay and lesbian community in a different way.”

Sheng travelled to Canada to photograph 14 Canadian athletes for the Olympic exhibition. The athletes represented participate in water polo, rugby, soccer, martial arts, and hockey and curling. PRIDE House will feature large prints of those 14 athletes, as well as smaller prints from the American series.

Sheng’s latest project, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Volume I, is the first-ever photobook that features the portraits and stories of gay and lesbian service members currently serving under the U.S. military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. (To read more about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Volume I, click here)

For more information or to view Fearless in its entirety, visit http://www.fearlesscampustour.org/

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