Eleanor Roosevelt Leaves the Closet, Time-Travels in New Web Series
First Lady Problems, created by queer filmmaker Allison Begalman, explores what happens if Eleanor Roosevelt made her way to the future and appeared in a modern day feminist’s closet.
It’s long been speculated that Roosevelt was indeed queer and had a romance with journalist Lorena Hickok, a narrative that will be finally be shown on screen.
They Hickock and Roosevelt met in 1928, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for governor of New York. He was elected president four years later, and by the time he was sworn in as commander in chief, the first lady was already wearing a sapphire ring bestowed on her by “Hick,” whom she affectionally called Kickok.
The journalist joined the Roosevelts every Sunday night for dinner, went on trips with Eleanor to the opera, and was the first to interview her as she took on the White House. It’s said that Hickok was so in love with her companion that objective reporting became impossible.
When apart, the two professed their love via telephone and letter; Roosevelt even kept a picture of Hickock in her study.
Decades after their affair, in First Lady Problems, appearing in a closet in the future is Eleanor’s chance to finally leave it.
As Callie slowly realizes that she’s romanticized a fearless, uber-feminist version of Eleanor, the first lady s newfound 2018 freedom forces her to confront her own sexuality while discovering a myriad of modern nuances—from air beds and dick pics, to queer female pizza deliverers and lesbians.
“At times grounded and political, at times surreal, but always comedic, the series explores many questions we still ask about historical female figures: Were they feminists? What if they could see present-day women? Were their sexualities predetermined by their generation? ” Bengalman told Out.
These questions are answered by an inclusive crew of mainly queer women, including Bengalman’s partner Mercedes Bryce Morgan, whose credits include the Stargate Origins series and the viral Marshmellow video Happier.
Watch the pilot below and the refreshing saga here.
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