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Straightlaced - How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up

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From girls confronting media messages about culture and body image to boys who are sexually active just to prove they aren’t gay, this fascinating array of students opens up with brave, intimate honesty about the toll that deeply held stereotypes and rigid gender policing have on all our lives.
Straightlaced includes the perspectives of teens who self-identify as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning and represent all points of the gender spectrum. With courage and unexpected humor, they open up their lives to the camera: choosing between “male” and “female” deodorant; deciding whether to go along with anti-gay taunts in the locker room; having the courage to take ballet; avoiding the restroom so they won’t get beaten up; or mourning the suicide of a classmate.
It quickly becomes clear that just about everything teens do requires thinking about gender and sexuality. Coming of age today has become increasingly complex and challenging; Straightlaced offers both teens and adults a way out of anxiety, fear and violence and points the way toward a more inclusive, empowering culture. Comprehensive curriculum guide sold with DVD.
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Streaming - 5 Years, Institutional (Education / Nonprofit) $ 415.00

License Period:  5 years
Running Time:  1:07:18
Closed Captioned:  Yes
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Streaming - 3 Years, Institutional (Education / Nonprofit) $ 249.00

License Period:  3 years
Running Time:  1:07:18
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Streaming - 7 Years, Institutional (Education / Nonprofit) $ 581.00

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Streaming - 3 Years, K-12 $ 249.00

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Streaming - 14 Days, In-Class Use $ 60.00

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License Period:  21 days (beginning at time of purchase)
Running Time:  1:07:18
Closed Captioned:  Yes
Video Resolution:  Appropriate for small screens only

quote_open.gifIf I was King of the World I'd have every parent, teacher and teenager in America see this documentary so that as many hearts and minds as possible would find more compassion and understanding, and take more initiative in protecting our young people, our future.
Donald Schwartz
CineSource
full review

quote_open.gif“ Brilliantly illuminates the distorted messages about gender that constrict and sometimes destroy the lives and dreams of high school students across the nation. This documentary is also the most impressive example of ethnography I have seen in 20 years in academia."
Margaret Waller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Humboldt State University

quote_open.gifHeartfelt, fast-moving and fully multicultural . . An honest, smart, respectful, and nearly comprehensive treatment of gender in teens' lives with the potential to inspire nuanced, spirited conversations.
Megan Honig
School Library Journal
full review

quote_open.gifWatching Straightlaced rekindled both the outrage and the hope that came with bringing Harvey Milk's story to the screen. This new documentary is a rare gem that provides a forum for young people to speak eloquently about the courage it takes to break out of the box, live authentic lives, and stand up for justice. I think Harvey would be proud of the kids in Straightlaced, and I urge young and old alike to support GroundSpark's campaign to get this film screened in schools and communities across the country.
Bruce Cohen
Producer, "MILK"

quote_open.gif"Essential viewing." Beaks down stereotypes and visualizes something we can't afford not to talk about. A vital tool for classrooms around the country.
Jennifer Raab
President, Hunter College



  • BEST DOCUMENTARY  BALTIMORE WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL
  • WINNER! CINE GOLDEN EAGLE
  • AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD  WESTERN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
  • FRAMELINE—SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL
  • OUTFEST—LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL
  • LONDON INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL
  • NEWFEST - NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL
  • HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

Visit the official website for Straightlaced - How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up

Debra Chasnoff Debra Chasnoff is an Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has fueled progressive social-change movements in many fields. She is a the president and senior producer at GroundSpark and co-creator of The Respect for All Project, a program that produces media and training resources to help prevent prejudice among young people. Her Respect for All films include: Straightlaced—How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up (2009; director/producer) about the gender and sexuality struggles teenagers face today; Let's Get Real (2003; director/producer), a powerful documentary about young teens' experiences with name-calling and bullying in which youth speak up about racial tensions, anti-gay taunting, sexual harassment and much more; That's a Family! (2000; director/producer), which looks at family diversity from a kids' perspective, and was screened at the (Clinton!) White House and been embraced by scores of national children's advocacy, education and civil-rights organizations; and It's Elementary - Talking About Gay Issues in School (1996; director/producer), which was hailed as "a model of intelligent directing" by International Documentary and has served as a catalyst for schools all over the world to become more proactive in addressing anti-gay prejudice in the classroom. In 2007, Chasnoff directed It's STILL Elementary, a retrospective look at why It's Elementary was originally produced, the response it drew from the conservative right, and the impact the film has had on the national safe schools movement and some of the original students who appeared in the film. Chasnoff's other film credits include the Oscar-winning Deadly Deception—General Electric, Nuclear Weapons & Our Environment (1991; director/producer), a crucial component of a successful international grassroots campaign to pressure GE out of the nuclear-weapons industry; Homes & Hands - Community Land Trusts in Action (1998; co-director), which is used extensively to inspire local communities to explore new models of creating permanently affordable housing; Wired for What? (1999; director/producer), part of the PBS series Digital Divide about the push to computerize education; Choosing Children (1984; director/producer), which explored the once seemingly impossible idea that lesbians and gay men could become parents; One Wedding and a Revolution (2004:Director/Co-producer), captures the frantic days leading up to the bold political decision of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom to start issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, which honored her with its first-ever alumnae achievement award in documentary filmmaking. She lives in San Francisco. Her two sons have been the inspiration for many of her films.

Related Films

Let's Get Real Let's Get Real    An in-depth look at name-calling and bullying in middle schools today, told entirely from a youth perspective.    Subject:  Children, Youth & Families
It's Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues In School It's Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues In School    The ground- breaking documentary that has inspired thousands of schools to pro-actively address anti-gay prejudice by by incorporating age-appropriate lessons into K-12 curricula.    Subject:  Women's Studies/Men's Studies
It's Still Elementary It's Still Elementary    Ten years after the original "It's Elementary" the filmmakers investigate the impact on the original students who were filmed learning about LGBT people. A riveting story about the impact of documentary film and activism.    Subject:  Children, Youth & Families
That's a Family! That's a Family!    A poignant, funny, and crucial documentary in which children were asked what they would like other kids to know about their diverse family structures.    Subject:  Children, Youth & Families

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