Taking satire to new level, “But I’m a Cheerleader” takes an actual phenomenon (the coming out of homosexuality movement) and ruthlessly mocks it.
It follows the life of Megan (Natasha Lyonne), a “normal” teenager (hey, she’s even a cheerleader) coming of age in a somewhat … abnormal … way. Megan’s uber-normal life is full of pom-poms, friends who all look eerily alike, and vapid enthusiasm. That is, her life is normal until her ulta-conservative parents start to think that their little girl might be—*gasp*—a lesbian.
One might wonder what the symptoms of lesbianism are … well, according to Megan’s parents, they are things like vegetarianism, having posters of lesbian icons (such as real “fringe” characters as Melissa Etheridge), and a lack of enthusiasm for making out with her slobbery football player boyfriend.
In a panic, Megan’s parents host an intervention with the help of Megan’s friends, her boyfriend, and a counselor (played by an out-of-drag RuPaul) from True Directions, a homosexual rehab facility. To Megan’s complete shock, before she can say “two-three-four,” she’s sent off to True Directions to rehabilitate her.
True Directions is run by the strict, super-homophobe Mary (Cathy Moriarty). Although Megan has no idea why anyone would think she was a lesbian (she’s a cheerleader!), she complacently goes along with deprogramming so she can quickly return to her somewhat uninspiring life, especially the one thing that really makes her feel alive: cheerleading.
However, Megan begins to understand what people are talking about when she meets Graham (Clea DuVall), a non-repentant, appealing tomboy who was sent to the camp by her rich family.
In a plot twist that wouldn’t confuse a small child, but which still manages to be endearing, Megan finds herself, her true direction, and even love in the most unlikely place.