The Truth About Jane

The Truth About Jane Information

The Truth About Jane is a Lifetime Original Movie, directed by Lee Rose, that first aired on TV on August 7, 2000 and stars Stockard Channing, Ellen Muth, Kelly Rowan Jenny O Hara and RuPaul (credited under RuPaul Charles). It's about a teenage girl named Jane (Muth) who struggles not only with her sexuality, but with a mother (Channing) who refuses to accept her.

The film was nominated for several awards, including Outstanding TV Movie by GLAAD, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Channing) Screen Actors Guild, and Original Long Form by WGA.

The film ends with a dedication to Matthew Shepard and to "all the men & women who love differently".


The movie begins with Jane narrating about her life from her birth, to her first birthday and even her first day of kindergarten. Then the film jumps to Jane at age 15, starting her first day of high school. Although Jane appears to be happy and a normal teenage girl to her friends and family, inside she's feeling alone and different. Her feelings grow more confusing, when a new girl arrives named Taylor (played by Alicia Lagano) who Jane sees (and says in a voice over) as "different, smarter, wiser." She then continues to say in the voice over that "maybe because she wasn't from here or maybe it was just her. I'm going to go with the last one, because she ended up changing my life."

The two become friends, innocently enough at first by Jane helping her get caught up in class. Eventually Jane's feelings start to become a little more clearer and she realizes that she has a crush on Taylor. Because of Taylor's abusive home life, she misses school for the next few days, causing Jane to worry about her and seek her out. When Taylor's mother starts yelling at her for being at the door, Taylor tells Jane to leave and that she'll be fine. Worried about her friend and struggling with figuring herself out, Jane starts to become withdrawn from her parents, who are starting to grow concerned.

When Jane's mother, Janice, finally tries to talk about what's been going on, they're interrupted by Jane's father coming in, and announcing that Taylor has come for a visit. After they're left alone by Jane's parents, the two begin to talk and Taylor confesses about her home life and how scared she is sometimes. Jane, wanting to be comforting, brushes Taylor's hair away from her cheek and then puts her hand there. Taylor takes this as a sign and then two share their first kiss. In a voice over, Jane wonders to herself if kissing Taylor made her gay and that at the time, she convinced herself that "it was just a phase." She then goes on to say that "it was the first time I ever felt connected to someone." After that, the two become an official couple.

Janice does not like Taylor, saying that she believes she's a bad influence on Jane, because Jane isn't hanging out with her old friends anymore and doesn't spend enough time with the family, because she's always with Taylor. A while later, Taylor invites Jane over to her house, because her mother is going to be out of town. Despite being terrified of her feelings, Jane and Taylor have sex for the first time. The next day at school, Jane tells Taylor that "it was a mistake" and that she's not gay. Taylor says it's not about being gay, it's about being with the person you want to be with. Hurt, Taylor then leaves and breaks up with Jane.

With Taylor gone, Jane is more withdrawn and heartbroken. When she finally gets over her confusion, she asks Taylor for a second chance, but Taylor says no, saying that she only wants to be with someone who wants to be with her. Distraught, Jane begins to cry and is then confronted by her English teacher/guidance counselor Ms. Walcott (Rowan). Ms. Walcott takes Jane into her office and with some gentle encouraging, Jane confesses that she had sex with someone for the first time and about the situation with Taylor, but she's careful to not specifically say who it was and instead uses such euphemisms as "they're" and "this person." Ms. Walcott then suggests that Jane write Taylor a note to express how she feels. Jane does and a few days later, Taylor shows up at her house, while Jane is babysitting her brother when her parents are out. Thinking her brother is asleep on the couch, Jane takes Taylor up to her room so they can talk and they eventually reconcile and kiss, not knowing that Jane's brother is watching them through her partially open bedroom door.

Word later gets around about Jane and Taylor, after her brother tells a friend in his class, who just happens to be the younger brother of one of Jane's old friends, whom she dumped for Taylor. Then one night after dinner, Janice gets an anonymous phone call from someone asking if she knows her daughter is a lesbian. Not knowing what to do, Jane's parents confront her about it and ask if it's true. Fearing that her parents will hate her, Jane lies about it and says that she and Taylor were just practicing, which is what her father assumes they were doing. Confused and consumed with guilt for lying to her parents about her relationship, Jane seeks advice from her mother's gay friend Jimmy (RuPal) and comes out to him. Jimmy explains that it will get easier and that when the time is right, she'll tell her parents the truth. Eventually the harassment and name calling gets too much for Jane and one night at dinner when her younger brother calls Taylor a dyke, Jane attacks him by pulling him across the dining room table and hitting him. When her parents try to assure her that it's just gossip and that it'll go away, Jane confesses that it's not just gossip and comes out to her parents.

Hurt, shocked and angry, both her parents initially react badly to it, assuming that they had done something wrong and deciding that they will do whatever it takes to make their daughter's life better for her, by convincing her she's not gay. They forbid Jane from seeing Taylor and send her to therapy, because she refuses to talk with them about it and they feel it's the only way to "fix" the situation. Therapy proves useless and Jane and Taylor still continue to see each other, even going as far as sneaking out to a gay bar, which Jane gets grounded for when she comes home at 4 AM. Soon, the sneaking around and drama becomes too much for Taylor and she breaks up with Jane. Ms. Walcott, who happened to have been by, stops to comfort Jane after she sees her crying. She then explains to Jane that it will get better and that she understands what she's going through. At first Jane doesn't believe her, but then Ms. Walcott comes out to her and tells her the story of the first time she fell in love with a girl. Jane starts to feel better, until she's confronted by her old friends one day at school, and when their teasing becomes too much, Jane attacks one of the girls, which she's suspended for.

After her mother talks with the principal, on their way out of the high school, a group of boys make homophobic remarks about Jane in front of her mother, who is hurt by the comments. Jane sarcastically says she doesn't know why her mother even cares that they said something, because she acts just like them. At home, Janice tries to confront her daughter about what she said at the school. In a rant about gay people being normal, Jane unintentionally outs her teacher. Believing that Ms. Walcott is the reason behind Jane behaving the way she has been, Janice leaves to confront her. Jane beings to sob and begs her mother not to hurt Ms. Walcott, but she doesn't listen and leaves anyway, causing Jane to collapse and sob into her father's arms. Janice confronts Ms. Walcott at the school, threatening to go to the school board if she doesn't stay away from her daughter. Later on at home, Jane's parents announce that they feel sending her away to boarding school will be the best way to handle the situation, because they're at a loss for what to do. Jane runs away to her teacher's house, where she apologizes for outing her and tells her that she's considered suicide because she can't stand having her parents hate her so much.

Knowing exactly how she feels, Ms. Walcott goes to Jane's parents and tells them what Jane had told her and what her experiences were like growing up being a lesbian. Jane's parents eventually realize that they need to do something or they'll lose their daughter forever and go with Ms. Walcott back to her home. Janice and Jane talk and the two reconcile, though their relationship is still strained. In an attempt to make her mother more comfortable with things, Jane takes her to a PFLAG meeting, where they hear a story from another mother whose situation mirrored their own. Janice continues to go to the meetings, despite still being uncomfortable with things and still being unable to admit that her daughter is a lesbian. When it comes time for a pride rally, Janice announces at dinner that she's not going to go, because she's still not ready, which obviously hurts Jane. Later that night, Janice apologizes and says she's trying, but Jane says that accepting her in private isn't enough. Jane later attends the rally with her father, brother, Jimmy and another friend of her mother's and are eventually joined by Ms. Walcott and her partner. At the very end of the movie, when it's time for the PFLAG parents from Janice's group to speak, Jane looks around at the crowd and sees her mother coming towards her.

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