Autobiography In Adult: Bree Mills’ Story From Teen To Screen

Written by BREE MILLS

If you had told the Bree of twenty years ago that there would be a porn film made about her life story, she would never have believed you. In some ways, I still can’t believe that it happened, it’s so surreal! But I’ve always believed that porn could, and should, be used for more than just titillation. It’s too powerful as a medium to squander on only providing fleeting moments of pleasure, when its reach is so wide and its grip on viewers so captivating. Porn can offer the world so much more – as a lens through which we can explore our truest selves without judgment, as a catharsis for tackling heavy real-life subject matter, as a nexus for the lonely and the misunderstood to find acceptance and connection. 

My story is not special, per se – in fact, if anything it’s special because it’s NOT special, which is to say because it’s a story that so many others have lived through and can recognize elements of my experiences reflected in their own. “Teenage Lesbian” is a film that tells an all-too-familiar tale for too many out there, of the pains that we each go through in our quest for “normalcy” and the confusion and turmoil that feeling “other” can unleash. It’s known as the “Bree Mills autobiography” to most, but it’s also the autobiography of countless lesbian, bi, queer and questioning women out there who struggled or are struggling with acceptance – societal acceptance, but self-acceptance too.

And for that matter, I don’t think of “Teenage Lesbian” as being my autobiography alone, but the culmination of coming-of-age and coming-out experiences from so many of our wonderful cast and crew as well. The film’s lead, the irrepressibly lovely Kristen Scott, was the perfect choice for the role because she too had gone through her own queer journey in her teenage years, including having her first girlfriend in high school, and so was able to draw from the well of her own experiences to bring nuance and authenticity to the character of Sam. Many of the supporting talent, like Wolf Hudson and Dee Williams, have explored same-sex relationships and situationships in their personal lives which added a layer of empathy and kinship on set, fostering trust and confidence in each other and in our mission. And that through-line of pure, raw realness extended throughout the entirety of the film – the LGBT community center scene, for example, included completely improvised dialogue from Casey Calvert, Maya Kendrick, and Kendra Spade all sharing their honest real-life coming out stories to help their performances ring true.

And wherever the talent needed some help to fill in the blanks, I was there to share my recollections of that turbulent time for queerness in the 1990s when the film (and the events that inspired it) took place. Without the internet to help inform teens’ journeys of self-discovery, or the societal tolerance of LGBT folks that we take for granted today, we lacked the tools and language to come to terms with the disorienting maelstrom of gender identity, heteronormative expectations, and divergence from sexual conventionalism that had been hammered into our brains. The bullying and gay-bashing, the breast-binding, the fog of disconnectedness that follows Sam around, and the delirious epiphany she starts to feel as she peels back the veiled curtain to a hidden world… all of these were inspired by true events and feelings from my teenagehood that defined the film. And I knew that these themes would speak to similar experiences from other youths of the 80s and 90s who might be watching the film and recognize themselves in these moments of tragedy and triumph.

This is why I’m most proud of this project. Not because I got to tell my story, but because in the years that followed its release I got to hear so many stories BACK from viewers who have shared that the film touched them deeply, either by seeing their own journey represented for the first time so genuinely within adult entertainment, or in some cases by helping them to introspect and come to terms with new or repressed truths about themselves. This is what porn was MEANT to do, to have rich meaning and purpose in our lives as WELL as titillate. Because these goals aren’t mutually exclusive – porn can do both at once, in a way that no other art form can hope to copy.

Click here to watch Teenage Lesbian!

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