Zoey, her mother Ofelia and her sister Leticia are the subjects of the 2016 documentary Raising Zoey — which not only takes us through Zoey’s physical and emotional transition into that happy self, but also covers how Zoey and her mother became reluctant and unexpected activists for the ongoing Trans Rights Movement.
An expansion of director Kim Rocco Shields short film by the same title, Love Is All You Need? is an intriguing and very personal look at what it feels like to be persecuted for what you look like, who you are, and whom you love. Released in 2016, the film stars Briana Evigan, Tyler Blackburn and Kyla Kenedy.
Shared Rooms explores the meaning of home and family through three interrelated stories of gay men finding connections during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day – a married couple who take in a teenage relative who was kicked out of his home after his parents discovered he was gay; a pair of roommates forced to share a bed for the week, much to the delight (and horror) of the one harboring a secret crush on the other; and two men looking for a quick hookup who end up finding a much stronger connection.
My first acquaintance with Argentinian filmmaker Marco Berger goes back to spring 2014 when his exquisitely understated gay romance Hawaii screened at the BFI Flare, London LGBT Film Festival. Fair warning: if you’ve seen that film and found the whole “will they/won’t they” tension a bit frustrating, you might have a hard time stomaching Taekwondo’s incredibly protracted relationship tease. Berger in fact reprises the same kind of core tension in this newest effort, albeit the story and the whole context that feed such tension are rather different.
Jonathan Groff stars in this 2013 indie based on a short story of the same name by humorist David Sedaris. In the film, David, a privileged, Yale-educated young man who flees what many would consider to be a good life in New York for an off-the-grid “change of pace” (and a new name) in a small blue-collar factory town in Oregon.
Prior to September 2011, when President Barrack Obama requested the repeal of Clinton’s policy, gay men who were enrolled in the military had to keep their sexual orientation hidden in order to avoid animosity and discharge. This imposed code deeply affected the lives and careers of over 14,000 LGBT individuals who rejected traditional dogma and refused to adhere to ungrounded social conduct. Set in 1992, Burning Blue tells the story of two such servicemen, Matthew Blackwood (Rob Mayes) and Daniel Lynch (Trent Ford), who are stigmatized and face daunting consequences when their romantic relationship is revealed.
The story of being young and wanting to get away is universal and powerful. It is a yearning everyone can relate to, the desire to be more than where you are from and to eventually find yourself away from everything that has defined you. It is a hard enough venture without adding closeted homosexuality, a strict Aborigine culture and teenage suicide.
The Pass spans 15 years through the rise and fall of a closeted footballer: it starts off on the cusp of his career breakthrough, follows him across the glory period where his personal troubles threaten to compromise his success and eventually, as the past catches up with him, finds him bound to face the consequences of his life choices.