Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2015: Out to Win


The lives and careers of LGBT athletes are examined in Out to Win.  In 2014, Michael Sam made headlines by becoming the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL.  Using this as a stepping stone, the history of LGBT athletes are told, from NFL player David Kopay in the 1970s to to gold-medal winning hockey player Charline Labonté.  The challenges faced by these athletes are retold, all while moving towards a greater acceptance.

It is almost a stereotype for sports to be a macho male-driven activity, where it is completely unthinkable that homosexuals would want to participate.  Of course, this way of thinking is completely inaccurate and Out to Win shows that there have always been gay athletes, except they were forced to stay in the closet.  One of the first major athletes to come out was NFL player David Kopay, who had a reputation for being a very tough linesman.  Out to Win uses Michael Sam’s story from last year as a framing device to show the slow acceptance of LGBT athletes in sports.

It can be said that Out to Win is a poignant film about the growing acceptance of LGBT athletes.  Even though homophobia still exists, LGBT athletes are now starting to become much more comfortable about coming out.  The latter part of the film focuses on a college football player named Conner Mertens, who is shown as an example of this changing tide.  There is probably still a long way to go, but this film can be seen as an inspiration for LGBT athletes to “Be True.”

★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT


  • Fri, May 1, 1:00 PM – Hart House Theatre
  • Sat, May 2, 6:30 PM – Isabel Bader Theatre

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).