Ever since “Season of Love” began film production in May 2019, I’ve been asked by many people where the idea for the film came from. The truest answer I can give is this — necessity.
‘Season of Love’
“Season of Love” is the first queer women-centric holiday romantic comedy movie. Yes. That’s right. The first.
(The Hallmark Channel and Lifetime have 70 holiday movies on their schedules, but the lineup is a lump of coal for the LGBTQ community. None of the 70 movies showcase main storylines with queer couples. Not one. Zero. Ed —)
Directed by Christin Baker, “Season of Love” features an ensemble cast of diverse women and their connected love lives during the hectic holiday period just before Christmas through the new year. In the end, the women discover love truly is the best gift of all
The film stars Dominique Provost-Chalkley (“Wynonna Earp,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), Jessica Clark (“True Blood,” “A Perfect Ending”), Emily Goss (“Snapshots”), Laur Allen (“Young and the Restless”), Janelle Marie, and Sandra Mae Frank (“Deaf West’s Spring Awakening,” “Daybreak”).
Five years ago, while my wife and I were stationed in Florida, I began teaching once again at a school where, although the staff was supportive of my being gay, some of my colleagues had apprehensions about whether or not I should be out to my students. Would the parents complain? Would the kids refuse to take my classes? Would it cause enough of a stir to force my removal from the school?
While I promised not to hang rainbow flags all over my classroom and lead a gay pride parade down the school’s hallways, I also promised not to lie to my students. If they asked, I would tell.
The school knew I was gay
When one of my students asked why I didn’t have pictures of my husband in my classroom like all the other married teachers did, I responded, ‘Because I don’t have a husband.’
They scratched their heads, gave it some thought, and then light bulbs went off one by one. By the end of lunch that day, the entire school knew I was gay.
Despite all the apprehensions and fear that my being out might be a bad thing, something altogether different happened — In secret journal entries, in little notes slipped onto my desk while I wasn’t looking, in tearful knocks on my door during my plan periods, students began coming out to me.
In a flood of confessions, they all said the same thing — I was the first and only gay person they knew, and that knowing me — regular ole gay me — gave them hope.
I wasn’t extraordinary in any capacity. I wasn’t even an exceptional teacher, but what I was, was normal. And gay. And that, I realized, was quite a powerful combination.
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‘Season of Love’ script
Three years later I had the opportunity to write a feature script that would allow me the chance to normalize queerness yet again, and I could not purge the stories for “Season of Love” from my mind and through the tips of my fingers fast enough.
Then, 21 days later, I submitted my script to Tello Films the day they announced their holiday “Pitch to Production” contest.
While each of the three stories in “Season of Love” had a different concept spark in my mind, they were all inspired by the necessity of normalizing the minority parts of us that are consistently under- and ill-represented by the majority.
‘We are normal’
We are normal people, living incredibly normal lives, and I wanted to depict that in a healthy, happy way in “Season of Love.”
When we can show queer women not just living, but thriving. When we can make a deaf woman (played by Sandra Mae Frank) the sexiest, sassiest, character in the story instead of a victim. When we can depict a found-family celebrating the holidays in the exact same way as every single story in a Hallmark Christmas movie, then maybe — just maybe — we can help under-represented people feel seen and not-so-alone during the holidays.
“Season of Love” will be available for streaming December 1.