Based on a true story, the film focuses on the brief life of Teena Brandon (Hilary Swank
) who becomes Brandon Teena and claims a new male identity in the rural town of Falls City, Nebraska. There, Brandon successfully pulls off portraying a man unbeknownst to the women he's dating, eventually falling in love with Lana (Chloe Sevigny
He also befriends Lana's friends John and Tom. At first, Brandon's new friends like him and treat him as a buddy. But when Brandon's sexual identity is revealed, the deception triggers a spiral of horrific violence that ends in homicide.