Ostracized, abused, and humiliated by his close-minded classmates, a gay high school student from a conservative Colorado town learns how to defend himself by enlisting the aid of a sympathetic martial arts expert. McClain comes from a community that believes AIDS is a punishment from God, tailor made for people who live a sinful, gay lifestyle. After McClain is severely beaten by classmates for the simple crime of being gay, he vows to never be the victim again. Later forming a close bond with local martial arts expert Karen, McClain is schooled in the fine art of self-defense. When McClain begins using his new skills in an aggressive manner rather than for their original intention, questions of honor, the plight of the defenseless, and the corrosive effects of bigotry on people from all backgrounds prompt both student and sensei to look into their pasts for answers to their current problems.