May 29, 2009

Training Rules

Went to see this Dee Mosbacher film this evening at the CTGLFF. An incredible story, about women athletes (and staff) at Penn State drive out of the basketball program by coach Rene Portland.

Heartbreaking, really. These women - with dreams of an NCAA championship, the Olympics, coaching, and in later years, the WNBA, but driven out by actual or perceived lesbianism. So often, they were unable to transfer to other schools (by NCAA rules or Penn State's / Portland's intransigence in terms of providing records), of by the fact that playing under Portland (and coming to terms with getting kicked off the team or stepping aside on their own) drove them to depression, towards poor performance, etc.

I was particularly moved by the story of Corinne and Chris Gulas, twin sisters who left the team under pressure from Portland. Other similarly affected players were also in the documentary.

And the last woman covered, Jen Harris who played from 2004 - 2005, is most heartbreaking - dismissed from the team in March 2005 (after Penn State lost in the first round of the tournament) - she went on to Syracuse (where she was unable to play, thanks to Penn State not forwarding on complete / accurate medical records) and from there to St. Peters. She stood up to Portland and Penn State, sued, and by all accounts, won an out of court settlement.

If you get the chance to see this film (it's on the queer film fest circuit) - do go see it.

No comments: