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In court, gay Texas attorney Keith Langly (40s, successful, handsome), saves youngsters from tragedies, but Michael, Keith's mate of fifteen years, is dying from Hepatitis, and Keith is helpless to save him. When Michael dies, Keith is devastated and isolates himself in grief.
New Jersey teenager Ryan Grant (15, good-looking, skinny) suffers cruel mistreatment by his mother, who assaults her three kids when she's drunk. She discovers Ryan is gay and screams: "I hope you get AIDS and die!" During the night, Ryan packs his possessions and escapes. His new friend Martin offers him a place to stay at his home in Connecticut. Ryan tries to enroll in High School, but can't without his mother's signature, and she refuses. Martin calls his pal Keith and asks him to help Ryan.
Keith goes to Connecticut, and he and Ryan hit it off, bonding with mutual trust. Keith goes to court and wins emancipation for Ryan after an emotional confrontation between mother and son.
Ryan celebrates by going to Texas for a week with Keith. He's able to be a boy for the first time, and Keith is able to rise from his grief. They erase each other's past pains during what Ryan calls "the best week of my life."
At Ryan's farewell party, he coaxes conservative Keith into performing a silly musical number, which delights their astonished friends. Realizing how happy they are together, Keith and Ryan decide to adopt each other.
Although they become a wonderfully-silly father/son team, the unconventional family is unacceptable to many in Austin's gay community. Keith learns that 1.3-million kids in America are homeless, and he decides to write a book encouraging other gay people to become parents and save "throwaway kids" like Ryan from suicide. He goes to New York to work with an editor.
While he's gone, Ryan slides back into bad habits from his dark past, deceiving and betraying Keith -- doing things around the house that he shouldn't. Keith returns but Ryan has vanished. Shocked, hurt, angry -- Keith disowns his son.
Ryan has driven to Los Angeles where a lusty photographer promises the desirable young man glamorous success as an Abecrombie model. After a miserable year apart – in which very little works out for either – they see how much they need each other and reunite with all their friends at Ryan's graduation from LA Police Academy.
Ryan becomes an openly-gay LAPD cop. Keith moves to Hollywood and becomes a writer. The unorthodox family re-forms in California – wiser and happier. As Ryan once said, "I think difficulties make us stronger."