Jeff Sheng’s Fearless Campaign

This week’s Winning Wednesday is from a founding advisory board member that has been working with Our Group from the beginning.  Jeff Sheng’s unifying Fearless Campaign has been a source of pride for all the members that have been involved and we are proud to support Fearless and Jeff in the current drive to make the full dream a reality.  Read Jeff Sheng’s message to the Our Group community below.

Dear Our Group,

As some of you may know, I am one of the founding advisors for OUR GROUP.  I became involved because of my photo project “Fearless,” a photo series that I began in 2003 about “out” LGBTQ high school and collegiate athletes, and since that time, have photographed over 150 athletes already, some of whom are on the board and active members of OUR GROUP.

What motivates me to continue working on this project, are the stories of high school and college athletes – brave young men and women who are sometimes one of the few “out” people in their entire school, let alone your sports teams.  These are the unheard acts of true heroism and courage, and it highly frustrates me that book publishers don’t see how powerful and important your lives truly are.  It’s why I have to fundraise on my own to self-publish this book, for its 10-year anniversary next year, so that I can finish “Fearless” into a large photo book next year.

As such, I am working on a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 which will allow me to self-publish this work next year into a beautiful large photo book featuring their stories, as well as to fund at least 50 more photo shoots to reach a goal of over 200 athletes.  I just launched the drive last weekend, and already have over $5000 pledged.  Nike is sponsoring this drive with some really amazing Nike “Fearless” T-shirts, the same ones they printed for their employees when I exhibited my work on their campus two years ago.  You can read more about the different pledge levels and the gifts associated with them at the links below.  Also, if any of you would like to be part of the series, please let me know.  There is no charge at all to be in it (which is why this fundraising drive is so important).  All I ask is that you do your best to help publicize this so I can reach the $50,000 goal (if the goal isn’t met, then the project isn’t funded by Kickstarter and the shirts don’t get printed etc).

The link to help is here:




Thank you again,

Jeff Sheng

Nike’s First Ever LGBT Sport Summit: How we ALL can become Athletic Champions

Nike’s most famous tagline is “JUST DO IT”, but this Pride weekend their message to athletes was #BE TRUE. Although the LGBT rights movement has gained enourmous momentum in recent years, pervasive homophobia and transphobia within sports keeps many athletes (and potential athletes) on the sidelines. If you are not convinced that this is an issue worth talking about, ask yourself these questions: how many professional LGBT athletes can you name?  Did you know anyone who came out on your sports teams? And most importantly, do children still fear getting bullied or picked on because he/she/ze is perceived to be LGBT?

This month, the sports world made one giant step forward.  At the Nike LGBT Sports Summit in Portland, Oregon, a team of LGBT activists, allies, athletes, coaches, administrators, and media personnel came together to collaborate and create an action plan to make sports more inclusive for LGBT athletes. The team of diverse players represented voices from all over the nation working toward the common goal of ending homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in sport.

(Event co-founders, left to right: Pat Griffin, Helen Carol and Cyd Zeigler) co-founder, Cyd Zeigler, proposed the ambitious goal of ending homophobia, transphobia, and bullying in sports within 4 years. This may sound like a challenging goal, but as athletes, we know that with great teamwork, teams can achieve the unthinkable.  In order to do this, our team decided we would need to redefine athletic champion.  Continue reading