Dee Dee makes Gypsy play dress up for a costume convention, where they each attract charming men who could dangerously complicate their insular relationship. And Gypsy is starting to question the lies her mother tells her - especially about how old she really is.
Gypsy Blanchard uses a wheelchair due to an illness. Growing up, her relationship with her overprotective mother begins to sour as she increasingly insists on her independence. She rebels as her mother, who dedicated her life to her care, grows more protective, controlling and abusive, particularly amid her attempt to explore her sexuality.
The relationship turns even more toxic as Gypsy discovers many secrets. She grew up believing she was sick with cancer but discovers that she was not sick at all. Her mother Dee Dee successfully deceived not only Gypsy but also her family, friends, and medical professionals into believing her child was ill. It is suggested that she suffers from Factitious disorder imposed on another, a mental illness in which a caregiver exaggerates or fakes another person's illness. At the time, this disorder was classified as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, by which it is still commonly known. The narrative eventually leads to hug after Gypsy asks her boyfriend to hug her mother.