Derek Hallquist grew up the son of a man who believed fervently in the importance of modernizing and protecting America’s energy grid. As a child and teen, Derek followed his dad to energy-producing plants, learning about turbines, kilowatt hours and renewable sources of energy, a particular obsession of his father David’s. They even lived in a house adjacent to a hydroelectric dam. When Derek became a filmmaker, he began a passion project: documenting his father’s commitment to clean energy and educating his fellow Vermonters about America’s power grid. That was interesting, sure.
But at some point in the process, David Hallquist decided he could no longer keep his greatest secret: in his heart of hearts, David Hallquist was a woman. Christine Hallquist. It’s not as unusual today to learn that someone we thought we knew as a straight man – such as the former Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner – or a straight woman, is actually gay or lesbian or bisexual or even transgender. Today, Christine Hallquist is a trans-woman. But unlike most people who transition in private, Christine’s life-changing moments were captured by her son in a rapidly changing documentary that Derek titled Denial. Search your memory. The name “Christine Hallquist” might ring a bell, because on November 6, 2018, she was the Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Vermont. And while she didn’t win, she broke many barriers in the process and attracted nearly 40 percent of the total vote against a popular Republican incumbent. We’ve got a lot to talk about.
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