Saturday, May 17, 2008

Our House DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Kids of Gay Couples Talk about Their Challenging Childhoods

What’s it like to be the child of a homosexual couple? During all of the heated debate about whether or not to legalize gay marriage, we never hear from kids who being raised by parents of the same gender. Now, thanks to Meema Spadola, director of such groundbreaking documentaries as Breasts and Private Dicks, we have a very good idea of how the offspring of same sex unions are faring.
In Our House, Ms. Spadola, herself the daughter of a lesbian, sensitively interviews youngsters from a diversity of ethnic groups (black, white and Latino), religious affiliations (Jewish, Protestant, and Mormon) and geographical regions (East, West, South and Middle America). The reflections they share are often achingly heartbreaking.
For example, there’s the girl who regrets that, “I’ve spent my whole life explaining my family to people who don’t get it.” She wishes that people could understand that she’s not a freak. Ryan, a 15 year-old from Fayetteville, North Carolina, recounts being so relentlessly teased and physically harassed by classmates over her mother’s same-sex marriage that she’s dropped out and has been home-schooled for two years.
Ry, 17, and Cade, 19, the product of artificial insemination, talk about the horror of being dragged into court during a four-year legal battle between their lesbian mom and the sperm donor who sued for visitation rights. Then there are two African-American boys, Sandor and Saveon, whose homophobic father is intolerant of his ex-wife’s gay lifestyle.
Despite the emotionally-draining conflicts which apparently forces most of these unusually mature adolescents to deal with a variety of adult social concerns, it is also obvious that all of them love their gay parents dearly, and only wish the rest of the world wouldn’t make sexual preference an issue. A wealth of wisdom out of the mouths of babes.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 56 minutes
Studio: Icarus Films
DVD Extras: Interview with the director Meema Spadola and interviewee Ry Russo-Young, follow-ups, discussion and resource guides.

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