Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up
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Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up

USA, 2009, 66 Minute Running Time
West Coast Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Butch / Femme Issues, Discrimination, Documentary, Gay, Gender, Lesbian, Local Filmmakers / Subjects, Transgender, Youth
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Debra Chasnoff

It’s tough growing up in this culture, figuring out who you are and where (or whether) you fit in. In the typical American high school, where calling a person “gay” is the ultimate insult, it’s even more difficult for teenagers who don’t conform to the gender roles touted in mainstream movies, magazines and TV. It’s about time somebody started talking to young people about sexual diversity, tolerance and self-confidence, and the gutsy teens — queer, transgender and straight — speaking directly to the camera in this vibrant documentary do a splendid job of getting the ball rolling.

The latest peer-to-peer consciousness-raiser from local pioneer Debra Chasnoff (It’s Elementary, That’s a Family) and The Respect For All Project, Straightlaced tackles a sensitive subject with an abundance of humor, color, compassion and pop. Whether pointing out the absurdity of being perceived as gay for wearing a purple Polo shirt or the difficulty of being the lone voice in the crowd objecting to a casually homophobic putdown, these teenagers share universal dilemmas, while recognizing the power, and the cost, of peer pressure.

A charming, disarming film that every teenager should see — along with every teacher, administrator and (while we’re at it) parent — Straightlaced derives its power from its conception: The unvarnished experiences of fellow teens makes it easier for a young viewer to acknowledge his or her prejudices, and insecurities. And that’s when the conversation really begins. — MICHAEL FOX

Text Voting Code: D313

Copresented by

826 Valencia, Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Groundspark

Official Film Website

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