Two years ago, a photo of a Russian gay couple being intimate behind closed drapes won the top award at the World Press Photo competition. This year, photos of gay rugby players from Toronto kissing and dressing in drag snagged the competition’s first place prize for sports stories.
The pics came from photographer Giovanni Capriotti’s series entitled Boys Will Be Boys which documented the on- and off-field action of Muddy York RFC, Toronto’s first gay-friendly rugby team.
“Gay athletes have somehow nearly always encountered resistance, controversy, discrimination and often humiliation from the sports community” Capriotti wrote in his contest submission. “Stereotypes have typically, and falsely, defined the performance of the athletes as well as their suitability to a specific discipline…. Established in 2003, Muddy York RFC primarily competes against ‘straight’ teams in the Toronto Rugby Union. The Muddy York team unconsciously started the process of describing and deconstructing the idea of performance within masculinity.”
Capriotti’s photos show this deconstruction in intimate scenes of the men playing competing, kissing and wearing drag for a local gay bar. We’ve included five of his eight award-winning photos and their accompanying captions below, but you can check out the full set on Capriotti’s website.
It should also be said that Capriotti himself is pretty hunky. We don’t know what sport he plays, but we want in.