In 1973, Alan Oakley, a 24 year old Republican journalist working for the Los Angeles Chronicle, has a promising future sure to make his military father proud. At the other end of the spectrum, certain to strike shame into conservatives everywhere is Tommy Ballenger, a 19 year old Texas native relocated to California to form "Out Loud", a gay civil rights group. When a chance meeting brings these opposites together, the attraction is obvious to everyone except Alan, who is desperately trying to stick to the program. Stumbling all the way, the neurotic Alan falls in love and the two form a loving relationship. A jealous lawyer publishes Alan's anti-gay book, however, which he wrote before meeting Tommy. This breaks up their relationship, but later they are reunited once again.