By Adam Brinklow
How well do you remember coming out of the closet? Whatever your answer is, it’s probably not as well as New York film student Alden Peters remembers it, because Peters got the whole thing on camera.
His forthcoming debut documentary film “Coming Out” (now in postproduction and hopefully hitting the festival circuit soon) captures his friends and family member’s reactions to the big news as he gives it to them.
The project has its roots in the 2010 suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after being outed by his college roommate. Disturbed by the story, Peters began considering his own life and orientation and the role that family, friends, media, and bullying play in the process of figuring yourself out.
“I was looking at YouTube videos of people coming out [and]I wanted more than just hearing somebody tell a story. I wanted to know what it was like,” Peters told Mashable. So he gathered up the elements he would need to document his yearlong journey: a camera, his closest friends and family members, and a significant degree of courage.
How did everyone react? Here’s a sampling of some of the best (and most amusing) bits of feedback he got when breaking the news:
“So, did we ever offend you? Because I feel like we say a lot of gay jokes…”
“How did you have all those girlfriends?”
“If it’s not Facebook official it doesn’t count yet.”
“Out of milk?” -Facebook friend
“Breathing a little easier?” -Facebook friend
“Why are you filming this?” -Mom
“Have you been to gay bars? What’s that like?” -Mom
“Have you got a girlfriend yet? How old are you?” -Grandma (seconds before he tells her)