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In 1995, Kelli Peterson started a gay and straight club at her Salt Lake City high school. The story of her ensuing battle with school authorities in interspersed with looks back at the diary of Michael Wigglesworth, a 17th-century Puritan cleric, at the 30-year love affair of Sarah Orne Jewett and Annie Adams Fields, at Henry Gerber's attempt after World War I to establish a gay-rights organization, at Bayard Rustin's role in the civil rights movement, and at Barbara Gittings' taking on of the American Psychiatric Association's position that homosexuality is illness. One person comments, "To create a place for ourselves in the present, we have to find ourselves in the past." Written by
A documentary covering two things. One gay and lesbian role models of the past. And two, a young lesbian in Utah who attemts to form a gay-straight alliance in her high school and runs into much resistance. Although the intent is honorable, and makes sense, the two elements never combine well.
We are jerked into the past to stories of obscure figures with quotes that often seem like stretches of the imagination. Then thrust into into the quick-paced present day story. Not much detail is shed on either.
Ultimately, the film is uplifting and reaffirming. A very good start.
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