In the shadow of the Great Depression, long before the historical changes leading toward LGBTQ advocacy and equality, unpretentious eighteen-year-old Ruth Thompson defies expectations to marry her sweetheart Duke. Impulsively deciding to join a rodeo circuit with her cousin in order to earn money for college, Ruth comes of age in the rough and tumble culture of rodeo competition.
After returning home to Minnesota, Ruth resumes her familiar relationship with Duke but grows increasingly restless. Once at college her safe existence is upended when she meets confident and free-spirited Gisela, and further unravels when the two women fall in love.
The lives of Gisela and Duke entwine as Ruth embarks on a journey of self-discovery, struggling with deep-rooted societal persecutions fraught with the risk of dangerous repercussions. As WWII escalates and each of them faces a test of their own fortitude, Ruth must summon the courage to commit to her love for Gisela as she confronts the possibility of losing everyone and everything dear to her.
Both heart wrenching and uplifting, The Winter Loon honors the strength and spirit of all those that grapple with social persecution because of who they love.