But I'm a Cheerleader (1999) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straitlaced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian.

  • Megan is an all-American girl. She's a cheerleader and has a boyfriend, but she doesn't like kissing him very much, and she's pretty tactile with her cheerleader friends, and she only has pictures of girls up in her locker. Her parents and friends conclude that she *must* be gay and send her off to "sexual redirection" school, full of admittedly homosexual misfits, where she can learn how to be straight. Will Megan be turned around to successful heterosexuality, or will she succumb to her love for the beautiful Graham?

  • Megan is a normal American girl who's one of the best cheerleaders on the team, along with having the captain of the football team as the perfect boyfriend, but there are some very unnormal things about her, including the fact that she doesn't like kissing her boyfriend, has posters of girls in her locker and at home, and likes listening to Melissa Ethridge. Does this mean that the normal Megan may, in fact, be... a lesbian?!?! Concerned parents and friends send her to True Directions, a gay-gone-straight camp led by the well-meaning yet totally insane Mary and the "ex-gay" counselor Mike.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Seventeen-year-old Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is a sunny high school senior who loves cheerleading and is dating football player Jared (Brandt Wille). She does not enjoy kissing Jared, however, and prefers looking at her fellow cheerleaders. Combined with Megan's interest in vegetarianism and Melissa Etheridge, her family and friends suspect that Megan is in fact a lesbian. With the help of "ex-gay" Mike (RuPaul Charles), they surprise her with an intervention. Following this confrontation, Megan is sent to True Directions, a reparative therapy camp which uses a five-step program (similar to Alcoholics Anonymous' twelve-step program) to "convert" its campers to heterosexuality.

    At True Directions, Megan meets the founder, strict disciplinarian Mary Brown (Cathy Moriarty), Mary's supposedly heterosexual son Rock (Eddie Cibrian), and a group of young people sent to "cure" themselves of their homosexuality. With the prompting of Mary and the other campers, Megan reluctantly admits that she is a lesbian. This fact, at odds with her traditional, religious upbringing, distresses her and she puts every effort into becoming heterosexual. Early on in her stay at True Directions, Megan discovers two of the boys, Dolph and Clayton (Dante Basco and Kip Pardue), making out. She panics and screams, leading to their discovery by Mike. Dolph is made to leave and Clayton is punished by being forced into isolation.

    The True Directions program involves the campers admitting their homosexuality, "rediscovering" their gender identity by performing stereotypically gender-associated tasks, finding the root of their homosexuality, demystifying the opposite sex, and simulating heterosexual intercourse. Over the course of the program, Megan becomes friends with another girl at the camp, a college student named Graham (Clea DuVall) who, though more comfortable with her orientation than is Megan, was forced to the camp under threat of being disowned by her family.

    The True Directions kids are encouraged to rebel against Mary by two "failed graduates", Larry and Lloyd (Richard Moll and Wesley Mann), who take the campers to a local gay bar where Graham and Megan's relationship develops into a romance. When Mary discovers the infraction, she makes them all picket Larry and Lloyd's house, carrying placards and shouting homophobic abuse.

    Megan and Graham sneak away one night to have sex and begin to fall in love. When Mary finds out, Megan, now at ease with her sexual identity, is unrepentant. She is made to leave True Directions and, now homeless, goes to stay with Larry and Lloyd. Afraid to defy her father, who will disinherit her for life, Graham remains at the camp. Megan and Dolph, who is also living with Larry and Lloyd, plan to rescue Graham and Clayton.

    Megan and Dolph infiltrate the True Directions graduation ceremony, where Dolph easily coaxes Clayton away. Megan entreats Graham to join them as well, but Graham nervously declines. Megan then performs a cheer she composed for Graham telling her that she loves her, finally winning Graham over. They drive off with Dolph and Clayton. The final scene shows Megan's parents (Mink Stole and Bud Cort) attending uncomfortably a PFLAG meeting to come to terms with their daughter's homosexuality.

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