The film, Before the Future, a twenty-minute documentary, follows four Chinese and Chinese-American lesbians who live in the U.S. Its aim is to reveal their experience of self-identification, their struggle of coming out, and the cross-cultural clashes and conflicts they face. In the process of its telling, the film openly discloses the filmmaker's personal journey of self-identification, as well as her reflections on her own sexual orientation and on the differences between Chinese and American LGBT communities. This thesis report parallels the film, focusing on lesbian identity, the coming out process, and LGBT relationships with parents and friends. It also discusses cultural and attitudinal differences between China and America with respect to this subject. This thesis report describes the "participatory" method of documentary filmmaking since the film itself interweaves the subjects and the filmmaker. The report also discusses the importance and strategies of the interviewing process and of the accumulation of "B-roll" material by means of comparison to similar successful documentaries. The first three chapters of this report present, respectively: (1) the film and the filmmaker's goals and expectations at the time the film was proposed, (2) the filmmaker's research, and (3) the methods of approach the filmmaker expected to take at the time the proposal was written. These three chapters thus appear in the future tense. Through the process of development and production, the film and some of its underlying concepts evolved and transformed considerably. The fourth and concluding chapter, therefore, reflects on this evolution, and thus, is written in the present tense.