Digital Art Credit: Mark Walz
In “Passings,” Lisa Tillmann accompanies Gordon Bernstein, a friend and research collaborator since 1995, on a trip to Philadelphia, his hometown, and Atlantic City, where his parents live. They visit key sites, including his old neighborhood, schools, and synagogue. Gordon’s mother struggles to manage her physical decline from ALS while attempting to facilitate greater openness between her son, whose path to self-acceptance had been long and difficult, and her conventionally-masculine husband. Prior to this trip, the Bernstein parents had avoided discussing Gordon’s same-sex orientation, especially with anyone outside the immediate family.