Title: Shelter
Studio: Ryko Liberation
Year: 2008 on DVD
Available: and

Shelter has elements that make it appealing to members of the queer community. There is self-discovery, coming out, coming of age, and romance. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons why the film won four awards.

  • Best New Director, Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

  • Favorite Narrative Feature, Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

  • People's Choice Award, Best Feature, Vancouver Queer Film Festival

  • Best Actor, Tampa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Shelter has a theme that is gripping for any gay or bisexual who ever felt duty made it impossible to be true to himself or herself. A sense of duty to family makes it difficult for Zach to be himself and to capture his dreams. His nephew needs a stable parent figure. Zach steps into the role so well that his nephew sees Zach more as a father than an uncle. In many respects, Zach is the only real parent his nephew has.

Zach falls in love with Shaun, his best friend's older brother. Zach's family tries to pressure Zach into living as a straight person, so he will be a good influence on his nephew. Initially, Zach is very reluctant to share any public affection, or to even be seen spending much time with Shaun. Somehow, Shaun's helps give Zach find the courage to come out, as well as to attend art college.

According to the DVD box, the movie has an R rating, due to language, sexual content, and scenes with drug use. Movies can be used as teaching moments. Those wishing to watch movie with their their family may wish to discuss the responsible use of drugs and alcohol. At a time when political and spiritual leaders are trying to portray gay people as enemies of the family, the movie helps break damaging images of the gay community. The video can help people better understand that gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals can be very caring, responsible parents.