Ilene Chaiken

SHOWTIME to premiere the documentary L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin

Lesbians in Mississippi exist and they’re breaking the surface in Ilene Chaiken’s (The L Word, The Real L Word) new 90-minute documentary. Directed by Oscar and Emmy nominee Lauren Lazin (Tupac: Resurrection) The L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin showcases the lives and constant struggles of being lesbians in the religious and incredibly conservative Deep South.

It’s the new millennium where we, the LGBT community, have seen an abundance more support and acceptance from the country. Parts of the Deep South are beginning to change with the times but some, if not most, stand true to their roots and conservative upbringing which will be apparent in this film.

Chaiken journeys deep into the Bible Belt to towns like Lareal, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to get a first-hand look and experience of a dozen women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church, but who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community. A white mother would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man. A couple grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning. And a former life-long lesbian struggles to “pray the gay away,” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.

The L Word creator is no stranger to the lives of lesbians. Over the span of more than a decade, Chaiken has brought us six seasons of the acclaimed and beloved TV series and then spread her wings even wider when she took on a reality show engaging in the real lives of lesbians in LA and NY. Now with a new documentary, Chaiken is turning to a different avenue to continue her exploration of modern-day lesbian life.

Against the backdrop of the burgeoning gender and marriage equality debate, L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin spotlights those loving, living, working, parenting and forcing change from within places where entrenched, conservative values have resisted the progress the LGBTQ community has worked hard to achieve elsewhere.