A father (Don Cheadle) cradles the newborn boy in his lap, feeding him milk from the bottle. As a toddler, he plays with his dad at the dinner table, offering him his toy. Once he reached school age, his mom walked him to the bus and waved at him as he looked through the window.
At school, he played by himself, drawing on the sidewalk and hanging on the jungle bars. By 16, he (Coy Stewart) had joined the track team. After finishing his lap, he meets with the team to talk with the coach. His coach (Luis Guzman) tells them all they improved on their times and will win the meet tomorrow. He claps his hands in agreement.
Between classes, he exchanges a handshake with another young man (Nolan Gould), who is also on the track team with him. He watches his classmates mouth and notices their thumbs are still touching after the conversation had ended.
He walks into the door and his father points to the male pornographic magazine on the table. His father calls him a deviant and says it’s unhealthy. After the lecture, he runs down the street for as long as he can. The next day at school, he stands by the railing, his father’s words still in his mind. During lunch, he talks with his teammate, who invites him over for dinner with his parents.
Over salad and lasagna, his classmate’s dad (Matthew Modine) talks about their fishing trips. After dinner, they sleep together. His dad opens the bedroom, sees them in bed together and says nothing. They look at one another, worried. The young man puts his clothes back on and his classmate’s dad walks him to the front door. His classmate shuts his bedroom door and cries.
The next day at school, he walks to his class, head down. On a screen in the hallway, Alessia Cara sings. In the computer room, Logic raps on the screens. He goes to track practice but talks to no one. His coach looks on, concerned. In the locker room, he opens the door and someone glued a fake penis inside. He slams it shut.
He takes a shower in the locker room, glancing to see if anyone is still around and sleeps in the corner. His coach wakes up the next day asks him what’s wrong. He looks down and his coach gives him some lunch. At a conference, his coach explains to his father that his son isn’t doing well. In his bedroom, the young man takes out a gun and points it at his head.
However, he returns to practice and then hooks up with another man in a parking lot. Back in the computer room, Khalid sings on the screens. In the school bathroom, he throws his backpack against the wall and then calls the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and speaks to someone.
Ten years later, he and his classmate get married. After the ceremony, his father hugs him and tells him that he loves him. While visiting his parents, he introduces them to their new grandson.
The young man always knew he was different. In elementary school, he didn’t have the usual “gross!” reaction to girls and he didn’t like football. He wondered what was wrong with him. However, he had his parents and he didn’t want to say anything to risk them turning on him.
Then, his father found his male pornographic magazine. It had been a wonderful day, up until that point. His classmate from the track team seemed to return his feelings and for the first time in years, he had someone. At the dining table, his father shamed him and said he was disappointed in his choice of lifestyle.
Nonetheless, he did have a date with his classmate. They talked for the entire evening about fishing trips and a tree that accidentally got run over in the front lawn. Despite the happy appearance, his classmate had confided in him he feared his dad would kick him out if he found he was gay.
The fake penis inside his locker was breaking point. His father knew and hated him. His classmate’s father blamed him. Now, his teammates are shunning him. Track was all he had left. He contemplates killing himself. No one wants him and wouldn’t miss him anyway. To everyone, he less of a person.
His coach gave him the National Suicide Prevention Hotline’s number and told him to call. After another tough day at school, he dials the number and says he doesn’t want to live. They ended up saving his life and ten years later, he had his own family with his father’s blessing. It got better. His father had needed time and thanks to his mother’s urging, let him back into the house. It was then they were able to start over.
Director: N/A Year: 2017
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