Baby Lu: Queer Coming of Age Film Needs Your Support

Baby Lu, written and directed by Emily Ray Reese, is a queer coming of age story set in rural New Mexico. Based on the screenwriter’s own upbringing, Baby Lu is a whirl of circumstances and events grounded in fiction, blended with real-life characters and relationships from Reese’s childhood.

This film taps into a rich and relatively unfamiliar culture, exploring the sexual awakening and identity of 13-year-old Lucinda, her relationship with her mountain man father, Zeus, as well as the social, political and economical issues that Reese herself faced in her hometown in rural northern New Mexico.

From Emily Ray Reese:

Growing up with my own mountain man father presented an array of experiences and challenges, which came to a head when I entered my teens and even more so when I realized I was gay. While it was difficult to speak with my father

writer director emily ray reese

growing up, we always had a way of tacitly communicating when he’d take me fishing or hunting. These moments bonded us forever, even though we could never openly discuss my sexuality.

I was raised in a ghost town tucked away in the mountains of New Mexico. My parents ended up on this small piece of land after their commune outside of Taos fell apart in the late 70’s. Here they survived off the land as most people in the area still do. Hunting, fishing, and farming earn your right to live in such a beautiful but unforgiving place.

The setting and the character’s of New Mexico provide the inspiration and guide for my creative vision for this film. The cinematography as well as the performances will be directed to feel as beautiful and raw as the towns I grew up in. Striving for the authenticity of New Mexican life will make the subject matter and tone of Baby Lu come alive.

Also, we know how you feel about childhood photos of tomboys.

You have less than a day to help Emily Ray meet her goal of $50,000. You’ll not only be filled with the joy of helping create this film, but our future interview with Emily Ray Reese will be so much more fun, because she’ll know that you Autostraddle ladies helped make her film a reality!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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Emelina Minero

I'm passionate about people, community building and supporting others in reaching their passions and seeing their value and beauty. I'm also passionate about the queer community. I'm a freelance writer for queer publications, and I use my writing to connect with people in the queer community, to amplify their voices and to help them live their passions. I want to help bring the queer community together, and I want to help create a positive queer culture. I do that through my writing. Outside of Autostraddle, you can find my writing in Curve Magazine, both online and print, in EDGE Gay Media Network and in my own blog, Queer Musings & Creative Fancies. I'm also big into self-love, positive thought and the body positive community. I co-created the Love Warrior Community, an online community with my mom, a therapist who specializes in helping people recover from eating disorders. The Love Warrior community uses creative expression to help people cultivate self-love and body acceptance. I created Community Bucket List, an online community that helps people to live their passions and achieve their goals. By submitting action-oriented bucket lists, people can focus on the main things they want in their life now. A year after graduating from college, I created CBL when I wanted more focus and needed more structure and support in my goals. I also volunteer with EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support), a non-profit that my mom founded in the Bay Area.

Emelina has written 1 article for us.


  1. FYI — I just went to donate and saw that the kickstarter ends tonight at 8PM EDT. It’s still ~$5000 short, so donate ASAP!

    • It does end tonight, in 9 hours. But in the past 2 hours, it went from $45,000 to $47,875. :)

      They’re so close to $50,000! :) I think with the help of the Autostraddle community’s Jedi powers, it’s possible. :)

  2. I HOPE THIS HAPPENS. baby lu looks like the kind of film i could watch 739487 times. i absolutely love rural coming of age situations.

  3. Emily Ray Reese reached her Kickstarter Goal & her film is getting funded! How rewarding. :)

  4. I am so glad her goal was reached. I saw this too late to donate. The trailer made me cry. The photos of her childhood are mirror images of mine- down to the long-bearded mountain-man father. My dad passed away last year before he really knew me as queer- it’s the biggest regret of my life.

    I cannot wait to watch this movie 100 times.

  5. That’s so cool that the trailer really resonated with you. It’s interesting how many different backgrounds we all come from, and how different, yet similar, each of our coming-into-our-queer-identity stories are.

    I’ve never really thought about a queer coming of age story set in a rural backdrop with a mountain man father, until I heard about this film. It’s cool to learn about different stories and experiences, and then to realize that those stories resonate with a lot more people. It’s like my brain opens up a little bit more to the diversity out in the world.

    We’re going to be interviewing the filmmaker, Emily Ray Reese, for Autostraddle. :) You may also like this other interview with her where she talks more about her background and her connection and fascination with developing countries and cultures.

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