Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Go See Tru Loved. It’s Fun.

I went to see Tru Loved this weekend. It’s an independent film comedy about high school students dealing with typical high school drama with parents and friends in addition to sexual identity issues and homophobia. A central part of the story is the effort by the lead character, Tru (who is straight but has two moms and two dads), to start a gay-straight alliance at the school.

Out for Reel sponsored the showing and proceeds from the evening go to GSAs in Western Massachusetts. It’s a completely engaging film and I left the Northampton High School Auditorium smiling as did most of the full house crowd who attended. I recommend that you check it out if you have a chance. The end is a little idealistic just short of everyone holding hands and singing Kumbyah but what the heck, we need a vision, right?

Ok, here’s the sports angle - Woven into the plot is the story of Lo,an African-American closeted gay quarterback on the high school football team. Lo’s best friend on the team is a major homophobe as is their football coach (a pretty stereotypical portrayal except for the hint of British accent). Lo asks Tru out, but she quickly figures out what his secret is and agrees to help him “pass” by pretending to be his girlfriend…until she decides to start a GSA and falls for one of the straight guys in the group. Lo’s confusion about being gay and his fear about losing his family, football and his high status among his peers as a BMOC collide with his feelings for another openly gay student, his friendship with the courageous Tru and his budding desire to be true to himself. The last scene in which Lo finally comes out to everyone includes a cameo appearance by Dave Kopay, the first gay former NFL player to come out publicly.

My inner educator couldn’t help but take over as I watched the film. I could envision showing clips of this film to high school athletes and coaches. Unfortunately, the only character in the film who remains unrepentantly homophobia is the football coach, but the film leaves the impression that he will be the ex-coach very soon because of his bigotry, after getting an ultimatum from the school principal (who was a little light in his loafers). It was fun.

Wow, would I have loved to have had a movie like this when I was in high school. Go see it. It will make you smile.

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