The Infamous T

2013 | Black/African American / Bullying / Documentary / Gender / Youth (18 & Under) | 30m | USA
Directors: Melissa Koch

Homeless, bullied, and failing out of high school, 18-year-old Jonathon is ready for a big change; maybe. After enduring a lifetime of homelessness and unstable housing with his loving mother and brothers, Jonathon wants to make the transition to a new house and family and all the promise that idea seems to hold. The Avenues for Homeless Youth GLBT Host Home Program matches him up with a queer host family Alex and Mike and their 7-year-old daughter, but as Jonathon finds himself in a middle-class household, he is struck by the culture-clash and haunted by a lifetime of homophobia and poverty. Blaming everything from veggie burgers to school bullying, Jonathon is on the verge of losing it all, until his chosen family and friends intervene. They dare him to get it together—before it’s too late. As he struggles to mesh with his new household, stay in school, and be his most authentic self, Jonathon discovers that home is more than four walls, and friendship can transform us.

In a confusing time when there are more non-traditional families than ever, Jonathon’s story challenges the dominant “family-values” narrative that renders nuclear family as the only viable option. Director Melissa Koch’s deftly examines the complexities of race, class, and the intersection of family of origin and family of choice within this award-winning short documentary.

This film comes with professionally curated curriculum. Download the curriculum here.

Reviews and Awards

Winner, Audience Choice, Best Short, Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, 2013

Winner, Best Short, Out Twin Cities Film Festival, 2013

Official Selection, Frameline37: The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival

Official Selection: Margaret Mead Film Festival