The Full Interview Segment from TitanMen’s OUT!
While the core of OUT! is presented as adult-oriented entertainment, the film also features a G-rated interview featuring TitanMen exclusives Jesse Jackman and Dallas Steele. The 11-minute segment, presented here in its entirety, is based on Jackman’s own personal experiences growing up as a closeted gay athlete. It begins with major league manager A.J. Benson (Jackman) coming out on the nationally-broadcast TV show The Hot Corner, hosted by his good friend Jim Weaver (Steele). After discussing Benson’s personal coming out story, the pair cover topics like the difficulties of growing up as a closeted gay athlete, the challenges of being gay in professional sports, and the ways that LGBT public figures can be encouraging to the fans who look up to them.
Jackman, who wrote the segment (you can read the script here), designed it a partially-scripted interview. He and Steele prepared for it off-camera by discussing the issues that face LGBTQ athletes. While the overall structure of the segment was set beforehand, most of the dialogue is unrehearsed.
The interview also covers a topic that Jackman believes is an under-discussed reason why there aren’t more openly gay athletes in professional sports… namely, the issue of sponsorships. A large portion of professional athletes’ salaries comes from corporate sponsors, but few companies have proven their willingness to embrace openly gay players. As a result, many athletes remain in the closet for fear of losing their primary source of income. Building on this discussion, Jackman wrote a piece called “For Closeted Gay Athletes, Endorsement Fears Persist” which was published in the Huffington Post’s Queer Voices section on February 19, 2016.
OUT! was written by Jackman and TitanMen Vice President Keith Webb, and was directed by Jasun Mark.