WATCH: Behind-The-Scenes Of The Historic Election Of A Gay Congressman

The election of out Congressman Mark Takano last year is chronicled in the upcoming documentary How to Get Elected in America. Produced and directed by Jamie Ruddy and Rupert Russell, the film follows Takano’s unlikely journey from teaching in a public high school to becoming the first openly gay person of color in the US Congress. It’s also filled with many real-life moments his campaign staffers fear, a long with in depth coverage on how Big Data, demographic changes, LGBT issues and political history shape American elections.

 “Going into the film, I thought Mark Takano was a really fascinating candidate — the kind of caring, smart guy you want to see in Congress,” Ruddy tells Queerty. “And since he was an openly gay candidate, it never dawned on us how hard it is to be openly gay in Riverside.  Trying to get patrons of a gay bar to talk about the gay community was impossible, for example, with very few publicly out and many fearing for their jobs. This shocked me, yet also made me all the more impressed with Mark’s decision to run.”

Russell agrees and adds, “What we didn’t know when we started filming Mark was what a turning point the 2012 election would be for the civil rights of gay people in this country.  We just got really, really lucky we happened to be there to capture that moment.”