Before
You
Know
It

Synopsis

SYNOPSIS

PJ Raval

The subjects of Before You Know It are no ordinary senior citizens. They are go-go booted bar-hoppers, love struck activists, troublemaking baton twirlers, late night Internet cruisers, seasoned renegades and bold adventurers. They are also among the estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the United States, many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect and exclusion. But Before is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities, it’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal and camaraderie—whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves or wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colorful drag queens.

Dennis is a gentle-hearted widower in his 70s who begins exploring his sexual identity and fondness for dressing in women’s clothing under the name “Dee.” Ty is an impassioned LGBT activist who hears nothing but wedding bells once gay marriage passes in New York. Robert “The Mouth” is a feisty bar owner who presses on when his neighborhood institution comes under threat. Born before the Civil Rights era, these men have witnessed unbelievable change in their lifetimes, from the Stonewall Riots and gay liberation, to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Queer Nation, to gay marriage and Lady Gaga, and have lived to become part of an unprecedented “out” elder generation. Before focuses on the lives of these three gay seniors, but reminds us that while LGBT elders face a specific set of issues, aging and its challenges are universal. An affirmation of life and human resilience told with a refreshing humor and candor, Before confirms that you are never too old to reshape society.

“This powerful documentary frankly acknowledges the inevitability of growing old while encouraging viewers to do the same.”

The Advocate

“…leaves you wowed – and unexpectedly hopeful.”

The American Prospect

“A crucial new addition to the LGBT doc canon”

IndieWIRE

“Exemplary …a documentary that successfully puts human faces on wider issues”

Slant Magazine

“…a heartbreaking, uplifting and life-affirming collage… This is a beautiful, humane movie.”

Movies.com

“One of the most compelling, heartbreaking, funny, essential films of the year. This film is a must-see.”

Michael Stipe

“…a critically important contribution to increasing understanding of the lives of LGBT older people.”

Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE

“An important, entertaining, and original documentary…”

Harry M. Benshoff – Professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies – University of North Texas

“…doubles as something more universal: a means of cutting through isolation and societal expectation, and finding a stronger self on the other side.”

Village Voice

“Engrossing…Provides sufficient contrasts, surprises, epiphanies and warm moments to keep it rolling engagingly along.”

Variety

“…an intensely beautiful, moving, elegantly thoughtful and profound film. A tremendous work.”

Margaret Cho

“…gave me hope for the future by focusing on the beauty, humor, and courage of out LGBT elders.”

Mx Justin Vivian Bond

“I delighted in the movie and very much care for the three subjects. It is wonderful.”

Rae Dawn Chong

“…confronts the taboo subject of aging with refreshing candor and great insight.”

Austin Chronicle

“…a sharply emotional film that captures a woefully under-seen, endlessly watchable population.”

The Stranger

“This is a remarkable film”

Austin American-Statesman