Steelers: The World’s First Gay Rugby Team by Eammon Ashton-Atkinson opens in cinemas around Australia and New Zealand in November. Eammon currently works in Washington DC as a correspondent for Australia’s 10 Network and QNews spoke to him there about the movie.
Scroll down for the QNews interview with Eammon Ashton-Atkinson
Eammon Ashton-Atkinson joined the Steelers after moving from Brisbane to London for work. Still struggling with issues surrounding his sexuality, he found joining the sporting team helped him deal with those issues. Even better, joining the Steelers led to him meeting his husband.
During his school years in Brisbane, Eammon suffered bullying. He also experienced an involuntary outing after a schoolmate secretly videoed the pair making out and shared the video. He shares those experiences in the film.
As a foreign correspondent, he works as his own cameraman. So, following an injury that sidelined him from playing for a while, he picked up his camera and began filming at the Steeler’s matches. He began shooting at a tournament in Amsterdam where he caught up with his hometown Brisbane Hustlers.
“I picked three characters in the club and they were very honest and open about their own individual stories.’
Eammon told QNews joining a queer sporting team can make a powerful difference in the life of LGBTIQ+ people.
“As gay people, as queer people, a lot of the time in school, we’re excluded from those opportunities. We’re the last picked, we’re the ones that are made fun of, we’re not invited to participate. So to be able to reclaim that space and have that wonderful feeling of being a part of a team and celebrate together…”
Eammon said specifically queer sporting teams acknowledged our collective experiences as outsiders.
“To have communities where we can be 100% ourselves is wonderful.
“I used to hate sport, but now it’s changed my life and I even met my husband in the team.”
Steelers: The World’s First Gay Rugby Club
In Brisbane, Steelers: The World’s First Gay Rugby Team opens from 1 November at New Farm Cinemas before screenings in the City and at Coorparoo and Indooroopilly.
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