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June 26, 2024 44 mins

The 1999 cult classic But I'm a Cheerleader was a hugely significant film for so many in the LGBTQ+ community - and it almost didn't get made. We discuss why it is still a go-to for so many. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, this is Anny and Samantha.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
I welcome to staff. I never told your prediction if
I heard here.

Speaker 3 (00:18):
Oh disclaimer, y'all were having a hard time. I am
having a hard hard time. So this is why, as
we are still celebrating all things Pride, that we decided
to add another movie Slash, a cult classic to our episodes.

Speaker 1 (00:33):
And honestly, we probably should. I should have done this.

Speaker 3 (00:36):
Like like the first Pride month, you know what I mean,
because it's such a classic when we were doing movies,
because it's such a classic that I kind of just
it wasn't in my thought process because I didn't I
didn't know it was a queer movie, by the way.

Speaker 1 (00:53):
I thought. I genuinely thought that this was a cheerleader movie.

Speaker 2 (00:57):
But you say that having not seen it.

Speaker 3 (00:59):
Having not seen it and know nothing about it. But
what I'm talking about and what we are talking about
today is but I'm a cheerleader, the nineteen ninety nine
Slash two thousand classic cult classic movie that yes, is
a queer classic. Once again, I did not realize because
it was during the era of all of those cheerleading

movies and like girl movies that I really just thought
it was one of those, so put it in there
with you know, Bring It On, Jawbreaker, like those types
of movies that that's kind of what I saw this
ass And so I did not realize until a few
years ago how iconic this movie was for so many,

especially like a queer lesbian, you know, women who identify
as queer, like this was something they saw as huge.
And again I did not know anything about it. I
actually we were talking about doing another movie and I'm like,
what about this movie?

Speaker 2 (01:57):
And you were like, yes, I was. I was which
a couple of notes we might be doing Bring it On,
which I have not seen.

Speaker 1 (02:08):
I'm probably gonna make you yes soon.

Speaker 2 (02:12):
I had never heard of it until we started doing
I had never heard of but I'm a cheerleader until
we started doing movies for Pride Month, and it consistently
showed up on the list. I can't say why. I
was always just kind of like, oh, we'll do this

one instead. There was no real reason, but I knew
it was iconic, and when you suggested it, I was
very excited because I've been meaning to watch it. So
I was like, oh, yes, now I can watch it
for work. Yes, so this is great news. But it
was my first time seeing it as well.

Speaker 1 (02:51):
Yeah, and did you like it?

Speaker 2 (02:53):
I did like it. I know we'll talk about this
it is, Yes, from the late nineties early I was
expecting there was definitely some stuff that hasn't aged well,
but I was expecting worse. So I really did enjoy it,

and I thought it was a very funny, bizarre thing
that had a lot of commentary in it about gender roles. Yeah,
it wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be,
but I liked it. Yes, it did. When it first
came out, like with so many movies we talked about
on here, it got mixed reviews. In fact, when it

originally was released, this movie got a forty two percent
rating on rot Tomatoes and scored a thirty nine out
of one hundred on Metacritic, But the queer community was
much more receptive to it. The film did receive awards
at different international competitions and received a standing ovation at
the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Speaker 3 (04:00):
Yeah, so it's been has since become known as a
cult favorite for so many You're going to see a
lot of people writing about it about how it changed
their life or gave them better understanding of themselves or
had a moment of like, oh, this is refreshing. Many
fans today still talk about its impact and how much
it meant to them to have a movie like this.

In a blog written by Kay Burdo, I really hope
I said your name right, so sorry if I didn't.
They talked to fans of the movie and asked what
it was about the movie that was so amazing to them,
And here's some of the quotes that they got. So
one of the subject was it has a happy ending,
and the comment goes, but I'm a cheerleader is by

all definitions of rom com and it comes with a
requisite happy ending. The fact that it follows the formula
is deceptively groundbreaking. There weren't a lot of depictions of
queer romance back then, and lesbian characters were often subject
to the barrier gay trope, i e. They often ended
up dead. As Carolina forty years old pointed out, is
one of the first mainstream films to show a positive

ending in a queer film. I think about how before
that a lot of the lesbian relationships in films ended
in death or someone going back in the closet, But
that was the first to show the couple potentially ending
up together and happy.

Speaker 2 (05:16):
Yes, some more quotes, This was the first movie I
saw that was fully queer. Another theme that emerged is
that the film is distinctly queer and it's aesthetic, it's writing,
and it's humor. For me, the thirty eight wrote, but
I'm a Cheerleader is special for its aesthetics. The high
camp esthetic both mock straight culture, think the scenes where

the kids are learning heterosexual roles, while creating a queer
aesthetic at the same time. While most of the film
is in the third person perspective, it starts out with
the audience looking through Megan's eyes, and she's checking out
bouncing boobs and looking up skirts of the other cheerleaders.
As Marissa thirty seven pointed out, it's refreshing and funny,

but really unmistakably clear. I'm hard pressed to think of
such a blatant depiction of femme fem desire without thought
for the male gaze. Even more than twenty years later,
Megan and Graham's relationship is all about the two of them.
There's no male gaze in play, there's no mention of
men at all. Films that don't cater to the male

gaze are broadly harder to find, and like in this case,
often point to the director being a woman. So yes,
the director, Jamie Babbitt, talked a bit about the complications
of trying to get the movie out there, including getting
the rating to be changed from NC seventeen to R.

She talked about her experience in a two thousand and
six documentary this film is not yet rated, and how
it seemed that the industry was more harsh on the
film because of its queer content as well as showing
suggestive scenes around female sexuality. She went on to say
that she felt that the movie was discriminated against because
it was a gay film.

Speaker 3 (06:58):
Uh yeah, So with all of that in mind, let's
jump into the plot. The movie begins with Megan played
by Natasha Leone. We all know her and love her,
an All American cheerleader who seems to have it all,
a jock boyfriend, religious parents who love her, and good friends.
Cameo of Michelle Williams here, but it turns out that
all her family and friends are concerned that she is

a lesbian. With an intervention with the help of counselor
from True Directions Mike played by RuPaul Charles. Yes, that
rue Paul. They all confront her with the evidence, including
her becoming a vegetarian, tofu and listening to Melissa Ethridge.

Speaker 1 (07:35):

Speaker 3 (07:36):
Soon she is shipped off to the conversion camp of
True Directions, where she is introduced to the owner of
Mary Brown played by Kathy Moriarty, who is of like
the nineties fame. If you've ever watched any films in nineties,
you've seen her. The camp is a haven of all
things stereotypically headenormative, and gendered, with the aesthetics of the
blue and pink to represent the feminine masculine that is

expected of the respective. The camp has become the answer
to Megan's perceived identity crisis. Soon she meets the rest
of the campgoers, including Graham played by Cleia Duval. We
love her as well, Nineties icon Hillary played by Melanie
lake Lynsky, who we also love in so many things now, yes,
including The Last of Us and he got very excited.

Golf played by Dante Bosco. You will also know him
from the nineties film Rufio Rufeu. That was him, Yes, Wow,
come on, and then several others. On day one, Meghan
finally realizes that yes, she in fact is a homosexual,
and the whole crying scene happens and she begins her

journey to Quote recovery, of course, but throughout her time there,
she soon develops feelings for Graham, who shares those feelings
as well and soon begins a relationship. And while Megan
soon begins to embrace those feelings, Graham tries to deny
them as she's scared of the disapproval of her parents
her father. After a night of adventure with XX Gays
former campers of two Directions that realize now this is

not working. I want to be who I am, Graham
and Megan get closer, but soon they are caught and
must either do a simulation sexual dissimulation with Rock Mary's
son or be kicked out. Megan chooses to not do
the simulation and chooses Graham as she sees it, and
is soon kicked out, but Graham decides to stay and
graduate the program on her father's behes slash demand. Soon after,

Meghan with her new crew of XX Gays go back
to rescue their people, including Graham, and after doing a
like after being rejected the first time round, and then
doing a new charutine just for Graham. They run away together,
and then we also get to see Meghan's family join
a group of parents with gay children.

Speaker 1 (09:49):
It was very sweet, kind of.

Speaker 2 (09:51):
It's like alcoholic Anonymous, but for parents of gay children.

Speaker 3 (09:56):
But I think it was like a support group, as
in like how to support their their lesbian daughters rather
than like, you know, how to deal with them. But yeah,
so that's essentially the entire pot. And yes, this is
one of those early two thousands ninety campy movies that
we would talk about with like a tongue in cheek
dialogue instens of humor that we would also talk about

for Bring it On, Ten Things I Hate About You,
which I've also made you watch in several of those movies.
Clear Duval was also in the faculty. Yes, yes, and
that's that same level of camp that we're seeing in
this except even higher. At one point, like critics really

called it like a watered down John Waters version of
a queer movie. So they had a lot to say
because they were not on board with the over the
top satirical level that we see. But obviously as held
out well for so many Yes, it is one note
sery typical identities of gay people, essentially what they're doing,

without any mention of any other queer people. There's no
real like bisexuality in this conversation. There's no conversations of trans.

Speaker 1 (11:08):
Even though I think there.

Speaker 3 (11:09):
May have been an underlying like character representation.

Speaker 1 (11:13):
We'll come back to that.

Speaker 2 (11:14):

Speaker 3 (11:14):
So yeah, definitely, like it wasn't as bad as some
of the other movies, and I'm like, ah, this is
not aged well.

Speaker 1 (11:24):
I feel like they did so well in being satirical.
It doesn't feel as offensive.

Speaker 3 (11:28):
I say this as a straight person, so I can't
really say that, but in my in my like, I
didn't cringe as much.

Speaker 2 (11:34):
Yeah, I mean I think the as I said, I
was really worried about it, just because when you watch
something from the nineties, so much of our conversation has shifted,
and there was definitely like a language we don't use anymore,
but it was used back then, and it was used
in a way that was clearly meant to be like, oh,
it's bad, they're using it right, And it was like

there were some very strong, very strong stereotypes of like
how certain I mean the whole joke of like, oh,
she's a vegetarian and all. But then like there were
just some like showcasing of how gay men act and

stuff like that. But it was I feel like it
was meant to be played of like, yeah, we know
this is a stereotype, this is what you think how
gay people act. But sometimes I was like, oh, well,
I don't know, I feel about it.

Speaker 1 (12:31):
Right, Like are you joking or are you not joking?

Speaker 3 (12:33):
Yeah, And of course, again Jamie Babbot has spoken quite
a bit about what she wanted to do and her
purpose in this and making sure that she made it
so ridiculous that it would be almost impossible to not
note that it's sarcasm, as well as the fact that, yeah,
the jokes were mainly more around heterosexual people than about

and and the gender norms than about the queer community.

Speaker 1 (12:59):
Like she wanted that flip very evident. I think she
did a good job. So with that, we're gonna talk
a little bit about the themes.

Speaker 3 (13:06):
Obviously one of the biggest themes is I guess coming
out because that level of like her going on homosexual.

Speaker 1 (13:16):
Yeah, that entire it was so cringe.

Speaker 3 (13:19):
But now that I'm replaying it in my head and
saying it out loud.

Speaker 1 (13:23):
It is quite funny.

Speaker 3 (13:24):
It's one of those like moments of like, I'm sure
so many queer people will say that line in that context, yeah,
but I'm like, okay, that's ridiculous. But it was one
of the bigger conversations because each one of them have
the idea which is very like, even though it is

funny and ridiculous, it's true the root story that they
try to look into to talk about what caused you
to be gay, what caused you to be gay, which
was this level of like what the hell and having
that gender norms and stereotypes as a part of that
conversation as well, because we talk about Megan seeing when

her father lost her job and so her mother had
to be the breadwinner and that caused the route, and
that seeing her dad being emasculated made her like, yeah, no,
these are these are according to them, the conversion people
marry herself in their counseling moments and like making sure

that they blame something for their queerness or for their homosexuality.
We have that moment of him talking about seeing men
changing in locker rooms and that changed.

Speaker 1 (14:37):
Them and they're like, no, that's not good enough. You can't.
That happens all the time.

Speaker 3 (14:41):
That's too normal, Like, right, you can't, you can't beat
this toma some type of trauma.

Speaker 2 (14:50):
I think.

Speaker 1 (14:50):
Another one is like you're you got molested.

Speaker 3 (14:53):
Obviously that was your beginning, which is again that slip
on the head in that conversation of like, Okay, this
is not a thing. It's just more of like they
were always this way and or their sexuality is fluid
and it doesn't matter on this cut like ideal of
like where's the beginning, what's the root cause that we
need to dig out of you? So that was an

interesting conversation, and then we go to the people who
have truly accepted it and loving themselves and figuring this
out and realizing this is not a sin.

Speaker 2 (15:23):
Yeah, I mean, it's one of those things. It reminded
me a lot of the recent episode we did a
Joey on bottoms, But it is one of those things
when I was watching and I was like, it's depressing
in the sense that this is true, like having this
sort of intervention where's your trauma, where where we're gonna

de root it and you're gonna be straight again, you're
gonna be normal, and that's what you should want, right,
But it was kind of funny to see it lambasted
like this, Yeah, where it's clearly ridiculous, as you said,
the director clearly like, no, this is so silly, and
it's I know we're going to talk about this in
a second, but I did really enjoy the accidental turning

on of everybody, like you're putting them in activity. It
is better like kind of sexual.

Speaker 3 (16:23):
Right, Like this is more like, well, I'm attracted to this,
so let's watch this as they demonstrate.

Speaker 1 (16:28):
This, so let's go.

Speaker 2 (16:30):
It was Yeah, it was hilarious.

Speaker 3 (16:42):
Would that, of course become with the theme of the
stereotypes of queer people, Yes, he definitely wanted to play
that up. I will say I found it interesting and
noting that it matters. And I think we've come back
round in this conversation of like not outing people for
the sake of inclusivity, Like there's such a fine line
because we you know, like not too long ago, we
had the young actor people will like really upset that

he played a by character and everybody's like, he's straight,
he shouldn't be this character. And then he had to
be like, well, not that this matters, but I'm by,
but thanks for making me do this on the time
that wasn't my time, you know, and a big conversation
about like whether or not we have as an audience.
They'll write the question and make people come out, but
in this level, like because this is a nineteen ninety nine,

two thousand film. Since then, if I know, Natasha Leone
has like she's been a queer icon and has all
has been since this movie, if not before, I believe,
But I think she is for the most part straight.
I know that the dude who played Rock, who is
obviously the reason that Mary Brown wants this conversion therapy

and trying to convert him, which is why they make
him do the stimulation so much, I think, and he's like, nah, I'm.

Speaker 1 (17:56):
Good, but you do you like? But I know that
he is married with a wife and all that, not
that he's not. But I wonder what.

Speaker 3 (18:03):
Those thoughts and thought process were like did they truly
look into seeing like having it heavily laid? I know
that as far as I know, Dante Bosco's kind of
in that same line, has a wife and family and
never really talked about being homosexual, So I wonder outside
of like RuPaul who like she Apparently they originally wanted

Arseniel Hall to play that character, but he turned it
down because he did not want to play a gay person.

Speaker 1 (18:33):
There's just like level and yeah.

Speaker 3 (18:34):
Apparently they also had Rosario Dawson audition as Megan Bloomfield,
but they wanted a white person to represent all American
so she really had to fight too, she did. She
did talk about this having more people of color in
their set, like she had to fight with executives. She
said that essentially the entirety of this film was trying

to fight to have inclusion and having different people and
all of that, as well as being able to show
like kissing among same gender people without it being too
racy and being being stretched to NC seventeen for that.
I think like the things that she had to cut
out were like they had to like cut down the

makeout scenes that had to cut down where she touches
like over the clothes or something, and then like her
even mentioning that she had oral sex with one of them,
like had to cut that line out. It wasn't even
a scene, it was cutting that line out in order
to get the R rating, So the level of like
ridiculousness that she had to stretch in order to get

this movie made was beyond And like, if this was
about heterosexual people, which of course this wouldn't exist. There
are movies like this, like the campy movies with heterosexual
people with this level of sexuality that are also R
rated without any troubles. So it's kind of that levels.
So much discrimination in this but with that, yes, the

stereotypes of different queer people in here I'm coming back,
uh in here was so relevant. The one thing that
many of the people were talking about was during a
time where the stereotype that lesbians were all butchy. Yeah,
they had a cheerleader being the main role of being

the lesbian, and like in the and then in the
end the proud lesbian, the one proud lesbian out of
the group, and I found that. Yeah, They're like, yeah, yeah,
that was that whole point because she does say that,
but I'm a cheerleader, obviously, I'm not. I'm just really happy.
And to be fair when they said that, because the dude,

the boyfriend was like, you know, I think you're gay
because you don't like to kiss me.

Speaker 1 (20:47):
I'm like, uh, who would he was a terrible kisser.

Speaker 2 (20:51):
We have encountered two cases of terrible kissing within like
a week's true.

Speaker 3 (20:58):
I was like, you know, like you definitely that's definitely
not the evidence, even though she is.

Speaker 1 (21:03):
But I'm like, uh.

Speaker 2 (21:05):
Yeah, I love how quick he was to be like
she must be. It can't be me.

Speaker 3 (21:14):
And then also that kind of comes to the conversation
about like people thinking that's normal, because Michelle Williams like
I think it's fun.

Speaker 1 (21:19):
I'm like, yeah, you don't.

Speaker 3 (21:21):
Yeah, I'm like, unless you kissed like that too, like
you think that's m.

Speaker 2 (21:27):
It was gross, Like it happens early on, and I
recoiled physically.

Speaker 3 (21:33):
As you should, ass does she as does Megan. As
she starts wiping off her face. She's like, don't you
hate when they do that?

Speaker 2 (21:40):

Speaker 3 (21:41):
Yeah, yes, so yeah, that's so like the stereotypes of
queer people.

Speaker 1 (21:46):
But then we have I thought one case was interesting.

Speaker 3 (21:48):
We have jan who is fairly masculine, like they've they've
got a mustache and they have the mohawk and and
they you know, dressed down, and she ends up being
the one like but I'm straight. She's like, I do
like penises, like I don't understand why I'm here, just
because I look this way, y'all are assuming and then
a roopaul is like, yeah, but look at you, Kema Kima,

you're you're gay. And then I thought maybe this could
be a stretch, like does she represent trans trans people?
Like maybe she's a transman that still loves men like
which we've seen is unobvious. Yeah, that happens all the time,
that's the thing. What do we see trans women still
loving women? Like all these things, and so like this

kind of level of conversation even though she's not she
doesn't say she's trans, and it's not noted that she
is trans. I just wonder if that's like a representation
they wanted to throw in there without executives getting too like,
uh no, you can't have that type of representation representation
on here, Like I've done wondering, and I'm wondering. Maybe
there's an article out there, anybody, anybody, But I thought

that was an interesting addition to that. We have again
Rock who is the hyper sexual but like level of
I guess someone she's trying to make a masculine get
on the roof to fix it. Stop drinking with a
straw chug it, like all of these things.

Speaker 1 (23:12):
I was like, what is what's that? All of those levels.

Speaker 3 (23:19):
We gotta love the fact that when they do go dancing,
the character of Andre, like you see him wearing the
boa and the very feminine outfits, which is fine, but like,
of course it's kind of like, yeah, this is the stereotype,
like over the top stereotype. We do have a nineties
goddess Julie Delpy in this role, Like she doesn't have

a name except her character's name is lipstick lesbian who's
at the bar gets megan to dance, which has a
lot of controversy because she made a lot of statements
pretty disparaging the statements when it comes to like inclusivity
in the film industry.

Speaker 1 (23:56):
So I'm like, why would you do that to yourself?

Speaker 3 (23:59):
You areus But okay, but she was in the nineties
one of the Heyday women leads, so she had a
very quick cameo here as well being a lipstick lesbian,
which again I love, that's her.

Speaker 1 (24:15):
Character, which is a stereotype once again.

Speaker 2 (24:22):
Oh yeah, yeah. There were definitely some some extremes, which,
as we've said, I think it was meant to be, uh, extreme,
but kind of like the panicked, high scream run from Andrea,

I believe. And then yeah, because that's sort of the
whole thing they were doing was this very gendered, very
specific this is what men do, this is what women do, right,
So I do think it was purposefully diet, but I
was it was kind of like whoa, we're going for it.

Speaker 3 (25:06):
Yeah, yeah, coming back to they had the stereotypical gender norms,
like they really wanted to point out the ridiculousness of
what they found was normal and that that would equate
to making you heterosexual. Essentially women being able to scrub
and clean, vacuum, being taught to all of those things

to please the men, even to the point when they
were having the simulation and Mary Brown says, no, for
plays not necessary, the men need to get in and
get out, load load, drop his load and get out.
I was like, and Rocks like no even he was
like ah, because so that was like what just happened.

Like that was to the level of like she even
fed into that stereotype of like you're just supposed to
copulate and move on, like there's nothing it's not about
the women at all, don't worry about it. Again, the
chopping of the wood scene quite hilarious, as well as
the football scene, which I could have gone completely different.
I was waiting for like the high jinks to happen

when they tackled each other, and so I was very
very surprised.

Speaker 2 (26:16):
Yeah, So essentially, for anyone who hasn't seen this, it
is like the most the aesthetics of it are very blatant.
It's like all pink here where the women are. The
men are at all blue, even their outfits. Yes, And
then they're learning these activities that are gender norms, so

like for women it is cleaning and cooking. I think
Mary Brown says something like by the time he gets home,
you're gonna have dinner ready, and he's tired and he
needs all this. And the men are learning like sports
and army, like calm.

Speaker 3 (27:02):
Kind of cars, cars, and I like that they are
all fake cars. Like again, this is that aesthetic. It's
like it's not quite real and that good thing that
kind of gets into I guess this is not a
theme necessarily, but it's definitely the main plot, Like, it
is definitely the driving force. It is the scenario essentially,

and that is the conversion therapy and you know, we
have this conversation. We've actually had episodes about conversion therapy.
We've talked about the level of conversion therapy. We talked
about it as a because it is Christian nationalist ideal,
and this was like beginning with them and the whole
level of we can convert you by doing these things

and some of the things that they talk about when
we talk about it today and when we talk about
in this real context, it's really really dark and really
disturbing and abusive. But one of the things that they
use is the in electro shock therapy, which is not
which kind of just like a vibrator, yes, which one
of the lesbians use that because she says pain, I

love pain like and so she would often use it.

Speaker 1 (28:13):
At night.

Speaker 3 (28:14):
Uh, And they they this top conversation of like, you
use this to stop your impure thoughts. We have the
main character, Megan, doing her prayers essentially her her sayings
and chance Christian chances. We're gonna say that way is
so that is what it is, sorry y'all. But in
order to try to stop these thoughts and impure thoughts,

in order to do that with again the electroshock therapy,
they put them when they sin or do something wrong,
they like hide them in the doghouse, they lock them
in the doghouse, which again were made obviously within the
movie to make light of it, but in actuality these
things did. There was a lot of accusations of these
things that set simulation that occurred. You know, they would

inundate them and brainwash them with porn and all of
these different things. They brought in prostitutes or sex workers
in order to convert men. Like there's so many levels
within all of these things. But of course again they're
trying to talk about the ridiculousness of this, of this
simulation of what the is this supposed to do, like
nothing except will cause more trauma and damage. What does

this do with these counseling with their parents except for
again more trauma and judgment outside of that as well
as like the cooking and cleaning, it teaches them to
lie and hide things better, to fake all of these
things again kind of like how Graham says, I'm attracted
to so and so now who is a dude, and
she's like, I have a crush on him, and they're like,

oh my god, it's working, and in actuality, no it's
not she's lying to get out of this because she's
so miserable.

Speaker 2 (29:46):
Yeah, something that's up to me too. Is again, this
was trying to really showcase how ridiculous all of this is.
But there were a lot of themes that we know

are true of like I'll kick you out of the
house if this doesn't work. I'm paying so much money
for this to work. You won't get anything from me
from their parents at these meetings, and that's one of
the reasons Graham was so at the end trying to
get it, to get her parents to at least believe

it that had worked. But that is a real thing,
like that kind of controlling holding that a house and
food and all of that over you, based on something
that I would agree the movie did a great job
of being like, this is pretty silly, right.

Speaker 1 (30:50):
Right, I think that's exactly that level of conversation.

Speaker 3 (30:53):
We also have again, like with the family ties, all
of that, the level of trauma though we see, yeah,
Graham being told that that's what like, she's being like
her mother. Apparently apparently the mother had ran away with
a woman, is what it seemed to imply, and so
again that was her root story as well that this

is you know, if you did this, not only have
you lost your mother, you'll lose your father too, which
is what we see a lot. And then at the
end when they don't succumb to this ideal, they're just
kicked out and like you have nowhere to go by,
And I think that's that other conversation is like that.
We see that way too often. At least they made
this a happy ending with the parents really figuring it out. Okay,

we need to take at this as a different route.
Make it's parents that is everybody else we don't know,
because the entirety of this is the parents wanting to
fix their children. And then that includes Mary Brown, who
wants to fix her son but she's kind of given up,
I think, but trying to make him a part of
this community as well, and he just doesn't care. Nope,

I said dance is about But yeah, I think that's
this whole ideal of like okay, and again then early
two thousands, late nineties, conversion camps were coming into conversation
more and more and more because people were starting to.

Speaker 1 (32:17):
Be like, do you think this is good?

Speaker 2 (32:22):

Speaker 3 (32:23):
Wait, of course, and they're still in practice today. Their
camps still open today, and we've talked about this. They
are still being funded by many of the fundamental Christians
and organizations, conservative organizations, and they are also the same
people who are trying to gut these policies for queer rights,

especially against so many including the trans people. I do
have that level of like, yeah, I think the newer Oh,
I don't know if we could.

Speaker 1 (32:53):
Have a new version of this type of comedy. I
think like.

Speaker 3 (32:59):
Maybe we have age out of these comedies, meaning that
it's not surprising anymore so because this was revolutionary at
that time to take this and take this its a satire,
and then to bring it out and to allow for
public displays of affection for and I say public as
in like on film for same sex relationships. As well

as the fact that it's not as one of the quotes,
it's not enough a male gaze necessarily, as well as
the fact that this is not for heterosis people like
this is for the queer community point blank, with the
hopes that people starts questioning these things.

Speaker 2 (33:42):
I think the fact that it wasn't played necessarily for sexuality,
but it was still sexual, but also it wasn't while
it is a comedy that the relationships between them wasn't
the funny. It wasn't played for a life right that
they were attracted to each other, because like everybody at

this place that was supposed to be quote reformed, was
attracted to some one else of the sex out of
this place, and it like, there's comedy around that, but
it wasn't played. We're not laughing at them, right. So
I think that that was a very refreshing thing and
it just felt to me it was nice that it

was almost like and I know I'm coming way later,
but for me watching it now, it was nice. It
was almost like not a big deal in it.

Speaker 1 (34:38):
It was like, yeah, yeah, it's a rom com.

Speaker 3 (34:41):
It was expected that they would be together, Like you
were rooting for them to be together.

Speaker 2 (34:45):
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, you wanted them to end up together.
And they had their kind of like ups and downs,
but then they ended up together. And going back to
our conversation we had with we had about the term
mother the other day, I did think it was interesting
that there was sort of this like x X gay,

here's where you go, right if you've got nowhere else
to go, right?

Speaker 3 (35:09):
Who Also, like I wanted to add this was one
of the best examples of relationships when they had a
moment of being like short with each other and then
like acknowledging it and then having Megan be like what
to see confrontation, but then to see them make up
and then just move on.

Speaker 1 (35:25):
I was like, I love that.

Speaker 3 (35:26):
I love that they added that scene for the x
xkys Larry and Lloyd Morgan Gordon is who they were,
and like coming into seeing that from being chastised constantly
and then just telling each other to shut up. Essentially
Mary Brown telling everybody shut up that they disagreed with her,
and to seeing these two having a moment talking it

out very split second and then moving on. It's like, oh,
she's like what what. Oh, It's like oh, I like that.
It was just like short clip, but that was significant enough.
I was like, I like that they portrayed their well
relationship in a healthy manner, as opposed to what we
see oftentimes where it becomes all kinds of scattered and
they're like this is such a madic and da da

da da. But like we see them being like, no,
this is normalized, this is normal, This is a relationship,
and this is how you get through those tough times,
and in any relationship it can be both ways.

Speaker 2 (36:19):
Yeah. Yeah, I liked that too, And it was especially
nice because there is a scene we didn't talk about
where Megan sees two of the guys kissing and like
it was like and reports them and it just felt
like such a betrayal, even if at this point she's

still trying to graduate and fit in and do all
of that. So it was nice to see sort of
her coming around to that camaraderie, right support. Yeah. I
thought that was an interesting thad too, because especially with
Graham being so like this right and then at the

end still wanting to graduate and Meghan being like, oh
I'm gonna go all in, really go for it. Uh yeah,
I really like it.

Speaker 1 (37:16):
Yeah I did too. I now know why this is a.

Speaker 3 (37:22):
Cl classic in general, because I was like, uh, okay,
okay again, Like I said, at that point, when I
first I didn't think I got I said, I guess
I didn't watch.

Speaker 1 (37:32):
The preview well enough, or they did the previews.

Speaker 3 (37:35):
I'm sure during that time they didn't put any content
that showed a relationship for same sex gender. I'm I'm
almost positive the previews would just have been her doing
that cheerleading thing and then her going into the hikings
and like, so I assumed.

Speaker 1 (37:50):
It was just a cheerleading.

Speaker 3 (37:53):
Yeah, completely unbeknownst to me at that time. I'm like, Okay,
moving on, And I was like, yah, And I'm not
really sure why I didn't watch it, because obviously I
like to bring it on.

Speaker 2 (38:05):
I am honestly fascinated. I would love to hear from
listeners who saw this when it came out. But again,
going back to that conversation we have a joey about bottoms.
I'm kind of surprised this got made. Yeah, And when
I was watching it, I was like, and that made
me kind of sad, because yeah, it's like you said,

it's not explicit. There's nothing about it that is overly
sexualized or anything like that.

Speaker 3 (38:35):
Yeah, there's no nudity, that's barely any language. No, like
I think Scott rated in C. Seventeen.

Speaker 2 (38:42):
I think it's just because it's not from a male gaze,
because in the beginning, like you said, there is the
shot of cheerleaders, but it's from her gaze. And if
that was another movie that was from the male gaze,
that would not.

Speaker 1 (38:57):
Reach me through it all the time.

Speaker 2 (38:59):
Yeah, but because it was her and her being like,
oh maybe I like women. This is I mean, honestly, yeah,
it's kind of bizarre to me. It's really hard.

Speaker 3 (39:15):
I honestly, I had assumed it was because PG thirteen
was rare. Yeah, but I mean it still existed, yeah,
I mean it started like it was created in nineteen
eighty four, so it's existed for over fifteen years. I
don't understand how anyway, that's the whole again. This is
that bigger conversation of like what, guess what and why?

Adding on, there was a musical in two thousand and
six based on but I'm a cheerleader, so I do
know that. Just an FYI, everyone, bring it on, say
two thousand films. I was in the same year. It
was PEG thirteen, and they actually talked about fingering legitimately,
and there's a scene where he's fingering her while she's

in a cheerleading post.

Speaker 2 (40:00):
I was gonna say, I bet it's that there's discussion
hints of masturbation. I bet that's a big reason why.
But I'm a cheerleader.

Speaker 3 (40:12):
And there's so much language and like, bring it on.
I don't know if the F word is in there,
but I know they say all the other offensive words.

Speaker 2 (40:22):
Yeah, yeah, that's interesting. I actually didn't know it was
rated at are I would not have guessed. I wouldn't
have guessed that either.

Speaker 3 (40:31):
But anyway, that's that bigger conversation two thousands and where
we are today, although that's still level, like outside of
like bottoms and all of that, we still see very
much the Bay or gay tropes a lot, a lot,
and then sexualization instead of just like relationships of gay

relationships or queer relationships, you know, like that's that's the
whole thing as well. But yeah, this movie was quite
uh refreshing. I'm sure I would have been in m
I may have known I would have been in shock
by this movie in two thousand, because you know, I
was very much in my touchways.

Speaker 1 (41:12):
Even though he still.

Speaker 3 (41:13):
Then I was like, this doesn't make sense because I've
definitely met, you know, queer people who were obviously like
they haven't always have been and they're happy or when
they like, immit that. So I knew that in two thousands,
So I don't know who knows I would have reacted.

Speaker 2 (41:30):
I would have been I would have been quite surprised,
but I don't think I would have been like this
is gross or anything. I think I would have been like, oh,
it makes sense to me. It just makes sense to me.
I don't know.

Speaker 1 (41:48):
Yeah, I can see that.

Speaker 2 (41:52):
Because I did see. Oh I did see. I had
seen other movies where women kissed, and I remember it
being like, oh, it must be so sexual and wrong.
I was just kind of like, I don't know, just kissing.

Speaker 3 (42:11):
My mind always went to, which is very like narcissistic
of me to be like, huh, that's not for me. Yeah,
am I like questioning why don't I find that attractive?

Speaker 1 (42:22):
Like I'm actually sitting there going huh, I guess I don't.

Speaker 3 (42:25):
I guess I'm not geting, like questioning whether or not
I find that attractive. It's this level instead of being
like that's gross, just internalizing it to myself, like attaching
it to my own reactions.

Speaker 2 (42:37):
Yeah, I mean that makes sense. And I think like
the importance of the who's telling the story and the
gaze because the Cays like saying the gays. I like
the fact that it's not male gaze based is very
important because so many times popular media does really sexualize

not even lesbians, just women kissing.

Speaker 1 (43:07):
Yeah, So I think for this movie, I would go
with that.

Speaker 3 (43:12):
This is definitely much more geared towards women, like this
is a like feminist movie for that route of like
allowing their own conversations alone, their own like romance with
everybody else being supporting characters, which is lovely.

Speaker 2 (43:30):
Yes, I enjoyed it. I'm glad we got to watch
it too. I was very excited when you suggested it.
That was very very excited.

Speaker 3 (43:39):
Because just like you said, it was like the top ten,
Like why have you not watched this type of.

Speaker 2 (43:44):
Movie consistently shows up? Yeah, and it's it's screening around
Atlanta right now.

Speaker 1 (43:51):
Yeah they got it. Yeah I knew that. Yeah, hm
they can't iconic.

Speaker 2 (43:57):
Yes, absolutely absolutely Well listeners, If you have any thoughts
about this movie, if you saw it when it came
out and we're shocked or not shocked or whatever you thought,
please let us know. You can email us a stepda
mom Stuff at iHeartMedia dot com. We also have a
new email address for testing out. Either way it'll get

to us, but the new email address is hello at
stuff Oneever Told You dot com. You can find us
on Twitter at mom Stuff podcast, or on Instagram and
TikTok at Stuff One Never Told You. We're also on YouTube,
We're on Tea Public, and we have a book you
can get wherever you get your books. Thanks as always,
start a super dusic Christina, executive Prouser Maya and our
contributor Joey, thank you and thanks to you for listening.

Stuff I Never Told You is direction of I Heart Radio.
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