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Training Rules - Documentary Film about Homophobia in Women's Sports


Training Rules - Documentary Film about Homophobia in Women's Sports

Rene Portland in the film Training Rules

© Photo Credit: Nathan A. Smith

Training Rules - a Film About Homophobia in Women's Sports:

Training Rules is a film that looks at the effect of homophobia on female athletes and specifically examines Penn State University Women's Basketball program and it's homophobic coach Rene Portland.

No Drinking, No Drugs, No Lesbians:

Rene Portland had three training rules during her 27 years coaching basketball at Pennsylvania State University - no drinking, no drugs and no lesbians. Training Rules is a documentary film that examines her homophobic tenure and the impact it had on student athletes and her coaching staff.

Jennifer Harris and her Lawsuit:

In 2006 basketball player Jennifer Harris filed a lawsuit against Penn State University and claimed discrimination by coach Rene Portland, who believed her to be a lesbian. Harris is heterosexual. Harris claimed she was harassed and dismissed from the team because Coach Rene Portland thought she was gay.

Lesbianism and Sports:

After Jennifer Harris' lawsuit, other former players and coaches came out about the negative treatment they received because they too were perceived to be lesbians. Many were also dismissed from the team.

Lesbian Athletes Speak Out:

The stories of six other athletes are shared, each a heart-breaking tale of how one woman and her homophobia could destroy their dreams of playing basketball. Many of these women, Jennifer Harris included, plummeted into depression and saw no recourse for what happened to them.

Lesbian Athletes/Lesbian Rights:

In 2006 Jennifer Harris, in conjunction with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation. They claimed that Portland violated the school's anti-discrimination policy, which protected students from discrimination based on sexual orientation. They won and in 2007 Rene Portland resigned as head coach at Penn State after 27 years on the job.

Training Rules: The Film:

Training Rules is a Film by Dee Mosbacher. It's played at film festivals around the US and the DVD should be released in Fall 2009.

Portland State University's out lesbian coach Sherri Murrell is featured in the film.

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