The film is a dramatization of the real-life story of Brandon Teenaan American trans man played in the film by Hilary Swankwho adopts a male identity and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska but falls victim to a brutal hate crime perpetrated by two male Bos sock strip. After reading about the case while in college, Peirce conducted extensive research for a screenplay, which she worked on for almost five years.
The film focuses on the relationship between Brandon and his girlfriend Lana Tisdel. The script took dialogue directly from archive footage in the documentary The Brandon Teena Story. Swank was chosen because her personality seemed similar to Teena's. Most of the film's characters were based on real-life Bos sock strip others were composites. Filming occurred during October and November in the Dallas, Texas area.
The producers initially wanted to film in Falls City, Nebraskawhere the real-life events had taken place; however, budget constraints meant that principal photography had to occur in Texas. The film's cinematography uses dim and artificial lighting throughout and was influenced by a variety of styles, including neorealism and the films of Martin Scorsesewhile the soundtrack consisted primarily of countrybluesand rock music from the film. The film's themes, which have been explored by many scholars, include the nature of romantic and platonic relationships, Bos sock strip causes of violence against LGBT peopletransgender people and the gender binaryand the relationship among social classraceand gender.
The film premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 8,before appearing at various other film festivals. Distributed by Fox Searchlight Picturesthe film received a limited release in the United States on October 22,and it performed well at the North American box office, gaining three times its production budget by May The film was acclaimed by critics, with many ranking it as one of the best films of the year; praise focused on the lead performances by Swank and Sevigny as well as the film's depiction of its subject matter.
However, Bos sock strip people who Bos sock strip been involved with Brandon in real life criticized the film for not portraying the events accurately. Boys Don't Crywhich dealt with controversial issues,  was initially assigned an NC rating but was later reclassified to an R rating. It was released on home video in September Soon after, he is involved in a bar fight and is evicted from his cousin's trailer. Brandon becomes romantically involved with Lana, who is initially unaware of his troubled past.
The two make plans to move to Memphiswhere Brandon will manage Lana's karaoke singing career. Eventually, during a date night which ends with them having sex, Lana discovers that Brandon is trans, but continues to be intimate with him.
The police detain Brandon on charges that arose prior to his relocation; they place him in the women's section of the Falls City prison. Lana bails Brandon out and asks why he was placed in a women's prison.
Brandon attempts to lie to her, saying he was born a Bos sock strip and will soon receive genital reconstruction surgery, but Lana stops him, declaring her love for Brandon regardless of his gender.
However, Bos sock strip Brandon is in prison, Candace finds a number of documents listing Brandon's birth name, Teena Brandon, and she and her friends react upon this news with shock and disgust. They enter Brandon's room and search among Brandon's things, and discover some transgender literature that confirm their suspicions.
Tom and John violently confront Brandon, forcing him to remove his pants and reveal his genitals. They try to make Lana look, but she shields her eyes and turns away.
After this confrontation, Tom and John drag Brandon into John's car and drive to an isolated location, where they brutally beat and gang rape him. Afterwards, they take Brandon to Tom's house.