by Hugo Salinas
Mormon filmmaker Spencer Windes has just debuted Straight Acting, a documentary that follows jockey players, rodeo cowboys, and ruggers who defy expectations about what it means to be a gay man. Windes, who served an LDS mission in the French West Indies, says that he was inspired to join an L.A. gay-friendly rugby team after reading about Mark Bingham, the San Francisco gay rugby player who went down heroically with his fellow passengers on Flight 93 on 9/11.
In a story posted at Outsports.com, Windes talks about so-called “reparative therapy,” which often advises gay men to play manly sports, thus learning to “properly” socialize with other men. “If this theory worked well, gay sports teams would soon write themselves out of existence,” writes Windes. “But of course it doesn’t work.”
“When I was in the closet, I only practiced solitary sports,” writes Windes. “I never would have joined a team sport, for the proximity to other males, the need in the sport to touch them, created far too much stress. Since coming out, that stress has evaporated. I feel more comfortable with other men. I do bond with my fellow players, bond in a way that is wholesome and non-sexual. But this does not change my sexual desire. It only increases my prospective dating pool. From what I hear, this is also true of the reparative therapy programs.”