dee rees*Since the premiere of her controversial film “Pariah,” director Dee Rees has been chatting it up about the movie’s concept and meaning for not only the Black gay community, but also society in general.

Staring Adepero Oduye as Alike and Kim Wayans as Alike’s mother, the movie has been nominated for several awards. But its message is monumental.

In an interview with BET.com, the director shared a bit about herself and emphasized the importance of the film’s overall message.

RELATED: New Film ‘Pariah’ Confronts Lesbianism Head On

Being a lesbian, Dees was able to relate to the film’s character, but was also to explore a different experience through its production.

“My story differs firstly because I’m from Nashville, Tennessee; I’m from the suburbs and Alike’s life takes place in this very hip Brooklyn brownstone. Alike comes out in the story at 17 and I didn’t come out until I was 27 — I was living independently and paying my own rent. But I wanted to set the story within the life of a 17-year-old because the stakes were higher, it’s also a more important discovery to make at a younger age. The things that were semi-autobiographical were the idea of gender identity. When I first came out I realized there was a spectrum. When I would go to the clubs there were the women with the baseball caps, doo-rags and baggy jeans that were very butch. And I didn’t feel like I fit in  with that. At the opposite end were girls in skirts and heels backing it up and I didn’t feel like I really fit in with that either. I was in a turtleneck and jeans — kind of in between. Also, the idea of my spirituality and sexuality did not have to be something mutually exclusive. I had to realize that I am who I am and God still loves me, and that’s something that Alike goes through.”

Read the full interview here.