Keef Williams and Pride & Sports
My name is Keef Williams and I'm a documentary photographer, I am gay, and I’m a sports fanatic.
These are three ways that I would define myself as. As a photographer I strive to capture the intimate, emotional and real moments; to build stories with which the audience can have an emotional and real connection with, I look for the poetic in everyday situations, and everyday people.
With a passion for sport this project, in collaboration with Pride and Sports, helped me showcase a cause that I have a personal connection with; I wanted to document the combination of these parts of who I am, and who I’ve become, whilst more importantly to help present the everyday heroes in the LGBT Sporting community here in the Netherlands.
As a young boy, I had a community through football. A team that I played for and another I supported. This was my group of friends, my mates. However the awaking of my sexuality caused me to struggle, I was torn between the two conflicting stereotypes of sport and sexuality, and that had started to cause an inner conflict.
I had lost somehow my sense of belonging, that human connection, the very sense of community I needed. I had somehow seen or even created a distance between key two elements of myself.
For me, at this time I didn’t have someone to look up to.
Where were all the gay footballers? Why were there not more elite sportsmens and women that I could relate to?
Through this project, I aim to convey a message of hope to anyone who might be going through what I went through.
The ones who might be feeling the same; those who may feel alone, those who do not see the heroes out there, those who may not share that sense of being part of a community.
For them that community, and those people; those everyday heroes you can find here in the Netherlands.
This is to help anyone who may consider not chasing their passions, suppressing who they really are; just because they feel different; or are afraid of not being accepted. This is for them. I'm proud to showcase these images of sportsmen and women.
Those who are not only connected through their sexuality, but also all through their true passion for sports. They are helping to shatter the negative stereotypes of our sexuality.
They play hard, compete, those who can hit that back hand, smash that ball in to the back of the net, run hard, and slam dunk. Sport brings out the true nature of each and every one of us, it transforms us all.
These images portray everyday people of the LGBTI community. They are members of the Pride and Sports Community right here in Amsterdam.
These everyday heroes represent an inspiration for us all.