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When Tom Hanks won the best-actor Oscar for Philadelphia in 1994, he gave an impassioned speech about his high-school drama teacher, Rawley Farnsworth—referring to Farnsworth and a former classmate as “two of the finest gay Americans.” Perhaps Hanks didn’t realize the attention that would bring to his mentor. The speech inspired producer Scott Rudin to dream up In & Out, released in September 1997.

The film stars Kevin Kline as 40-something high-school English teacher Howard Brackett, who is engaged to the long-suffering Emily (Joan Cusack). When one of his now-famous students, Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon), wins an Oscar, he thanks Brackett for being “a great, gay teacher”—accidentally outing Howard in the process.

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Vanity Fair

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