When ‘NSync singer Lance Bass came out as gay in 2006, both he and his family faced a harsh reaction from his home state of Mississippi. While homophobia has not completely disappeared from Mississippi, a new generation of LGBT youth is openly pushing back against the intolerance and (in many cases) violence aimed at them.
Bass hosts and co-produces this documentary, which focuses on a number of young LGBT Mississippians who are out and proud. The most prominent individual here is Constance McMillen, who made national headlines in 2010 when she challenged her school’s policy of forbidding same-sex couples from attending the senior prom; in the face of a lawsuit, the school abruptly cancelled the prom rather than allow McMillen to attend with her girlfriend.
The other young men and women profiled here have not made headlines, but they celebrate their everyday lives and activities – one goes creek fishing and later joins the U.S. Marines Corps, another speaks happily of working for a major courier delivery company – with a level of comfort and serenity that was unthinkable as recently as a decade earlier. The creation of the LGBT-inclusive Safe Harbor Family Church also provides a local sanctuary for those who cannot accept the heavy-handed anti-gay rhetoric from many Mississippi congregations.
Mississippi is, admittedly, a bit slow to embrace progressive change – after all, the Confederate war banner is still a part of the state flag. Nonetheless, the film offers evidence that equal rights for LGBT Americans has taken root and blossomed in this thorny part of the American landscape.