Thanks to reader and friend to this blog D Dude for telling me about this YouTube video, featuring my heel-hero Mike Bennett of Ring of Honor and his close friend, out gay independent wrestler Guy Alexander, talking about the film The First Out. The movie, currently in production, concerns a minor league baseball player who comes out of the closet and then has to deal with the blowback from teammates, fans, and family.
Mike and Guy are spearheading the Kickstarter project to get completion funding for the film, scripted by their mutual friend Rick Bauer. This video, the first in a series meant to garner attention and financial support for the movie, is hosted by co-producer Matthew Donaldson, who talks with Mike and Guy about the film and their ten-year friendship.
Mike is the first person Guy told that he was gay, early in their friendship. Mike, who was, he tells us, long a "fan" of Martin Luther King Jr. and "raised by [his] parents to accept everyone," has been an enthusiastic supporter of gay rights and liberal politics. For the last ten years, Guy has been the "gay ambassador of wrestling," often the first guy pro wrestlers speak with when considering coming out as gay or bisexual.
The film is based on a 15-year-old award-winning screenplay by Bauer. A trailer for the film is viewable at Kickstarter. preceded by a pitch from Mike and others (including Mike's girlfriend, Maria Kanellis, first lady of ROH) for the film. Right now the film needs to raise over $20,000 in the next eight days. Contribute, if you can and care to.