Jeff Sheng's 'Fearless' Project Features Intimate Portraits Of High School And Collegiate LGBT Athletes →
In 2003, the year after Jeff Sheng graduated from college, he began working on a project photographing and interviewing high school and collegiate athletes across the United States who openly self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), but continued to play sports on their predominantly “straight” school sports teams.
The series, which he titled “Fearless,” features individuals immediately after an intense workout or practice, in a location of their choice where they feel most comfortable as an athlete. Sheng chose to exhibit his work in locations such as student centers, college gyms, dining facilities and dormitory common areas to force an otherwise non-art-going public to see the images and consider the issues being presented.
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As I packed my bags for the Nike LGBT Sports Summit last month, I felt as though I was preparing for the “ball” of my dreams. iPad? Check… Running sneakers? Check… LGBTQ Pride? Double check! I could not believe I was headed to Nike Headquarters in Portland to represent Our Group Athletes, a national network that serves to empower and educate on behalf of LGBTQ student athletes and allies.