Straight from the Heart


Straight from the Heart

Academy Award™ nominated short film Straight from the Heart explores parents’ journeys to a new understanding of their lesbian and gay children.


More about this Film:

Overview | Awards | Film Credits | Discussion Guide


Straight from the Heart presents simple stories about real people: a police chief who talks about how proud he is of his lesbian daughter, a Mormon couple whose son is believed to be the first gay man in Idaho to have died from AIDS, and a black woman and her two lesbian daughters who had been accused of “catching” their lesbianism from white people.

This film shows that prejudice against gays and lesbians is a form of bigotry inseparable from other manifestations of prejudice, particularly racism. Interviewees include PFLAG’s Mitzi Henderson; Edmond L. Browning, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church; Police Chief Tom Potter; and Michael Bussee, Founder of Exodus International.

This film is part of the Unlearning Homophobia series.

Format: VHS/DVD – purchase this film
Year: 1994
Running Time: 27 minutes


  • 1995 Academy Award Nomination, Documentary Short Subject
  • First Pro-Gay/Lesbian Film Screened for the U.S. Congress
  • Finalist, 1995 National Short Film Festival
  • Screening Honoree, 1994 Denver International Film Festival
  • Screening Honoree, 1995 Hot Springs Documentary Festival
  • Screening Honoree, 1995–1996 UCLA 14th Annual Contemporary Documentary Series


Film Credits

A Woman Vision Production

  • Producer / Director: Dr. Dee Mosbacher and Frances Reid
  • Editor: Deborah Hoffman
  • Cinematographer: Frances Reid
  • Narrator: Dr. Robert McAfee Brown


Discussion Guide

Straight from the Heart: A Discussion Guide written by Jennifer M. Finlay and Linda Alband; supplemental materials Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D

After watching and discussing Straight from the Heart, the audience should have a deeper understanding of the following issues:

  • the existence and visibility of gay and lesbian people
  • understandings of terms like “gay,” “lesbian,” “homosexual,” heterosexual,” and “straight”
  • the suffering associated with name-calling, rejection, and all prejudicial treatment
  • the stigma associated with having a gay or lesbian child or being labeled gay or lesbian
  • the inter-relatedness of all forms of discrimination and bigotry

Content Highlights:

  • Why Are People Gay or Lesbian?
  • How Are Homosexuals Different from Heterosexuals?
  • A Brief History of the Struggle for Gay Rights
  • Why Are Gay Rights Necessary?
  • Attacks on Gay Rights
  • HIV/AIDS Prevention and Self-Esteem

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