In Fuera de Juego (2017), the wait continues

Fuera de Juego (2017) aka Offside

Fuera de Juego (Offside) has won awards for pondering the question: why aren’t there openly gay male pro soccer players in Spain? This question could equally be asked in many other countries. The sad truth for LGBT players is that coming out of the closet could destroy one’s career.

On the other hand, this barrier was dismantled at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, due to the smashing in-media and on-field performance by Megan Rapinoe and her USWNT teammates. These women led the competition and as a team, set an example for being diverse and proud, out and proud, loud and proud. It’s a new trend as was seen at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The more viewers see gay athletes, the more viewers can see those athletes as role models and normal human beings who simply exemplify great qualities.

So having just watched WWC 2019, it’s difficult for me to see Fuera de Juego as an important discussion in Spain today. According to wikipedia, Spain is “recognised as one of the most culturally liberal and LGBT-friendly countries in the world,” and “more than 88% of Spanish citizens accept homosexuality.” Spain legalized same-sex marriage in 2005. In addition, in 2018, Spain crowned Angela Ponce as the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. 

Laura del Rio is the only LGBT professional players interviewed in the film, and she expresses that she has suffered little discrimination. That might be because she played in the USA quite awhile. But it might also be that lesbian athletes are more accepted than gay male athletes. It also seems that the gay males who have come out of the closet while still competing, are usually in individual sports, not team sports like futbol.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to follow hypotheses in this film, because the English sub-titles appear to have been generated by a computer. The grammar for complex sentences is often inarticulate, and the film is extremely long for the content, so that I lost focus. The major conclusion appears to be that a big name player needs to come out of the closet and set an example. Until then, we wait.

The soccer scenes are of recreational gay players, a small practice at Club Deportivo Leganés with Martín Mantovani, and some shots of Laura del Rio. According to one article I read, CD Leganés was the only Spanish club willing to cooperate with Director Ricard Zubelzu.

In Spanish

6 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 6