The third comedic feature from writer/producer Mark Jones, Tennessee Queer stars Christian Walker as Jason Potts, a gay man who left his small Tennessee hometown for New York but is lured back for what he thinks is an intervention for his alcoholic brother. Instead, Jason finds his supportive family angling for a full-time return, insisting that the town has become more gay-friendly.
Tennessee Queer sketches a legacy of small-town homophobia with a tidy opening sequence that reveals a "smear the queer" wall in the locker room of the high school football team, where the humiliation of suspected gay students — including Jason — has been noted for decades.
Back home, Jason seeks to disprove his family's claims by petitioning to hold a gay pride parade down the town's Main Street and is shocked to find his petition approved by the positive vote of conservative council member DeWayne Cotton (Billie Worley), who has his eye on a mayoral race and may have ulterior motives.
Jones collaborates again here with cinematographer/editor Ryan Parker — whose technical hand is as sure as ever — and a talented crew that includes assistant directors Sarah Fleming and Morgan Jon Fox, both significant figures on the local film scene.
Tennessee Queer screens at the Paradiso theater on Tuesday, October 2nd, with showings at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available via brownpapertickets.com.