This documentary is an incredible story about a man named Ben Workman. Although he grew up in a loving family, Ben still endured the trials of being just a little bit different from all the rest. Bullying was a part of daily life for him. As he got older, the teasing and the taunts became rougher and he learned what it meant to be laughed at and shunned. These were hard lessons for a lonely teenager who just wanted to have friends.
Life did not get better. Ben lost the mother he adored in a car accident, endured the trauma of a failed marriage, and came to accept he was gay. Wishing to protect his family from verbal abuse, he kept his orientation a secret as he became a valued employee of the US Department of Veteran Affairs. Ben thought his performance would protect him from hate and discrimination based on his orientation. He was sadly mistaken.
Outed by a vindictive co-worker, the workplace was no longer safe. Superiors and fellow employees all joined in a chorus of insults, ignored stated policy and made the workplace a living Hell. Ben fought back and filed an EEOC Administrative action. He won the battle but the war kept going on. The homophobia of a new supervisor forced Ben to again seek justice. Once more he won his EEOC case, but had to accept the reality of trying to retool a career destroyed by senseless bigotry. The pressure bore down on his shoulders.
In the darkest moments of his life Ben discovered the clown, Jumper Maybach. He also discovered a God-given talent for painting. With a paintbrush and the smile of a clown, Ben rebuilt his life. His artwork has been exhibited all over the world and in his award winning gallery in Houston, Texas. Ben has now become a strong voice in the community, demanding bullying and harassment be stopped wherever it may be. Jumper, his alter ego, is a driving force for acceptance and understanding everywhere.
Many wonderful people are a part of this film. Ben’s attorney, Mary Sinderson, equal rights activist Helen Havens, and painter/actor Pepe Serna all give their insights into the life and times of Jumper Maybach. Dr. David Sanford, Ben’s life partner and soul mate of more than 20 years, shares his feelings of support and devotion for the clown he dearly loves.
The Jumper Maybach Story also celebrates the amazing art of Ben, who has been called the new Jackson Pollack. Director Alan De Herrera shows us behind the scenes snapshots of the incredible art, and the energy which has made Jumper Maybach a positive force for social change.