Tag Archives: documentary


So… my film is showing at a real cinema in Harlem, New York, what’s more it is showing at the prestigious Maysles Cinema – can you even imagine – below are all the details – please spread the word…. there is a popcorn machine too!

Saturday 21st August 2010 3pm-5pm

COLAGE New York presents: Raising Hell

A film by, for and about the children of lesbian and gay parents.

Dir. Ed Webb-Ingall 2010

30 mins, followed by panel discussion with the film maker and members of COLAGE

This half hour documentary tells the often ignored and unknown story of the children of Lesbian and Gay parents from a personal and political viewpoint. Set alongside an examination of the rich social and political history of Lesbian and Gay parents from the late 1960s to the present day, the film combines found footage and history with on-camera interviews with the children of lesbian and gay parents in the UK aged 12 to 35. This film was made with kids at the heart. The filmmaker was keen to create a safe space where kids can be seen to be speaking freely and openly about their experiences without having to be poster kids for “perfect families.” Instead of perpetuating the myth of the perfect family, or the perfect childhood, this film shows kids who, whatever they felt about their families, didn’t want to change or hide them, but be proud of who and what they have made them.

Through researching, developing and screening this film Ed Webb-Ingall hopes at once to normalise and elaborate on the experiences of the children of lesbian and gay parents.

COLAGE is a national movement of children, youth, and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) parent/s. We build community and work toward social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education, and advocacy.




343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave (Between 127th and 128th Streets) nearest subway 125th on the 2 and 3, just 2 blocks away
contact us: cinema@mayslesinstitute.org

Donations taken on the door – no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

21st August 3-5pm


Mom’s Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mothers’ Custody Movement

I am really keen to see this film and perhaps work out a way to screen it with my film, it sounds great and really insightful

While the beginnings of the LGBT Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum, the 1970s witnessed horrific custody battles for lesbian mothers. Mom’s Apple Pie: The Heart of the Lesbian Mothers’ Custody Movement revisits the early tumultuous years of the lesbian custody movement through the stories of five lesbian mothers and their four children.

Narrated by Kate Clinton, the documentary interviews the sons and daughters who were separated from their mothers, the mothers themselves, and one woman who made the difficult decision to flee with her children. Founders of the Lesbian Rights Project (now the National Center for Lesbian Rights) and the Lesbian Mothers’ National Defense Fund recount the founding of their organizations in response to the bevy of court rulings granting custody to grandparents, fathers and distant relatives based on the belief that lesbians would be unfit parents. Rich with archival photos from JEB (Joan E. Biren) and Cathy Cade, the documentary also features music from iconic lesbian musicians Margie Adam, Alix Dobkin, Mary Watkins and Cris Williamson.

Since the trailer went live…


this has been a crazy week for me, finished the film, had it shown at the BFI, the cinema of my dreams, had phone calls and talks about screenings and now, having just checked, i have had 858 plays of my trailer in 3 days! so exciting and I was posted on

Mombian » Blog Archive » Raising Hell: The Children of Lesbian and

By Dana
Now comes word of Raising Hell, a half-hour documentary by Ed Webb-Ingall that profiles the experiences of the young adult and adult children of lesbian and gay parents in the U.K., starting back in the late 1960’s.
Mombian – http://www.mombian.com/

which was really sweet, I am hoping to have more blog posts and news of screenings soon, so watch this space and please do repsost my trailer wherever you can…

Teaser Trailer for Raising Hell

So here it is, the teaser trailer i made for my film about the children of lesbian and gay parents – I am excited to hear what you think, do let me know if you can think of anywhere or anyone who might like to do a screening, spread the word…

Raising Hell Teaser Trailer 2 from ed webb-ingall on Vimeo. better quality or else on youtube below:


i was asked to write a synopsis for my film for its first up coming screening – I cant wait for y’all to see it!
watch this space for trailer:

This half hour documentary profiles the experiences of the children of Lesbian and Gay parents in the UK aged 12 to 35, exploring themes of School, Gender, Sexuality, Prejudice and what the word Family means. Set alongside an examination of the rich history of Lesbian and Gay parents from the late 1960s to the present day this film at once normalises and elaborates on the unshared and unheard experiences of the children of Lesbian and Gay parents

The important thing is love

since starting this film i have been inspired by the simplicty of delivery in the film the important thing is love screened in 1971 on itv – and i just found an article about it and thought i would share….

The Important Thing is Love

Film showing – winter 2000

Flick through the TV listings this week, and chances are that lesbians will feature somewhere. If it isn’t Rhona on BBC 2, it’s Bad Girls on ITV, or a lesbian wedding on Heart of the Matter. In the 1960s, it was very different, as women recalled at a Brighton Ourstory Project event recently, a rare screening of one of the earliest British TV documentaries on lesbians: The Important Thing is Love. The film showing was introduced by Maureen, who was interviewed in the original one-hour programme. She was joined by Pat, who recalled how her life was transformed when she saw The Important Thing is Love on ITV late one night in 1971:

“I knew that I was gay when I was 14, but there was nobody that I could talk to. I wrote to a women’s magazine and had a reply that said it was just a phase. I was extremely lonely, I didn’t know what to do. Eventually I got involved with a guy. And I had a daughter. It didn’t work out so I left him, and I had nowhere to go with her but back to mum’s. That night, I was reading the paper, and I saw that this programme was advertised, and I thought, “Oh please mum, go to bed!”

Mannish stereotype

Fortunately for Pat, her mother left her alone, and she watched the programme, “riveted”. These lesbians did not fit the mannish stereotype she was expecting. Suits and ties were out: diversity was in, from eyeshadow and skirts to donkey jackets and tank tops.

“They just looked so ordinary and that was fabulous. It was an incredible relief, because I heard people talking about the way I felt, and suddenly I wasn’t an alien, suddenly there were people like me.”

This, only the third documentary broadcast about lesbians on British television, was the first where all the contributors faced the camera. They included an actress (still to be spotted on TV commercials today); a woman thrown out of the forces; a mother; the psychiatrist, Dr Charlotte Woolff; and Esme Langley, founder of Arena 3, Britain’s earliest lesbian magazine. This was a remarkable change since the first ITV documentary on gay women in 1965, in which all but two lesbians were filmed in shadow. Brigid Segrave, producer of The Important Thing is Love, was determined to do things differently, as Maureen explains:

“Brigid was in the Gateways Club, three nights running, trying to find a selection of different types of women. My girlfriend was a model, and I was a trendy Kings Road dolly-girl with a beehive hairdo. Brigid said, would we mind taking part in the programme?”

At first Maureen, then a secretary in her early twenties, refused; but she changed her mind. “It was anger that did it. I didn’t see why we should be hounded, bothered and harassed like we were.” Her family had put continual pressure on her to get married and once had her confined to a mental hospital where she was given aversion therapy to put her off women. Ironically, this failed spectacularly as this was where Maureen met her first female lover, who was being subjected to similar treatment. Her parents’ opposition to this relationship, which continued once the couple had left hospital, drove Maureen to run away to London. “I thought there must be thousands of girls out there who came from little towns like me and who perhaps hadn’t got the daring nature that I had. How did you ever meet anyone? There was no Gay Switchboard, no Gay News, no Pink Paper, no nothing.”

Taxi drivers

In The Important Thing is Love, eight gay women filled this gap, saying freely how natural it was for them to love women, and that the problems they faced came from society and not from their choice of partner. To show what they were up against, a group of male taxi drivers was invited to hold forth on lesbians: but there was also a party scene of smoochy dancing and kissing, with ‘Where would I be without my woman?’ blaring from the record player. Maureen boldly told the world how good women were in bed together, and was scathing about the notion that all lesbians strode around in tweeds and brogues like Sister George. She and her girlfriend, perched together on an armchair, with their panda-rimmed Dusty eyes and groovy gear, made the point eloquently.

When the programme went out, retribution followed. Maureen remembers “I was sacked from my job the next day. I had a letter from my landlord telling me that he didn’t want people like me living there. I’d got married to a gay boy, to keep our parents happy, and his mother saw the programme and she was down that motorway like a bat out of hell.” But women on the gay scene were all over her. ‘I got lots of dates. They’d slip me their phone numbers, and tread on my feet to get attention. All of us on the programme became mini-celebrities.”

33,000 letters

The response from isolated women was phenomenal. “I alone had 33,000 letters, and that was after they’d taken out the ones from taxi drivers telling me what I needed. There were some very sad letters, from girls who were suicidal because they were in situations that they couldn’t cope with: a lot were married. But the letters were generally from girls who looked quite ordinary, who were just so relieved to think there were other girls around that looked like them.”

Many other women took the advice broadcast just after the programme, and phoned the Albany Trust. Among them was Pat. Through an interview there with a counsellor, she got a letter of introduction to the Gateways, the main lesbian club in London. “I was absolutely terrified, because I had to walk down the stairs and everyone was looking up at me.” Several visits later, she recognised Maureen. “I said that I’d seen her on the TV and how amused I was.” One thing led to another, and Maureen and Pat found romance together for a time. They are still firm friends today. Maureen went on to appear on other TV programmes and also helped set up Gay Switchboard. She now runs a hotel. Pat’s life was transformed by discovering the Gateways, where she served behind the bar in the evenings, working as a PA during the day. In a complete change of career direction, she is now a counsellor.

Enthusiastic audience

Maureen’s message, that lesbians should do whatever they can to make life easier for younger women coming on the scene after them, did not fall on deaf ears in Brighton. Her enthusiastic audience included Barbara Bell, featured in BBC 2’s It’s not unusual, whose autobiography Just Take Your Frock Off was published by Ourstory Books last year; and Millie and Ginette, who will be appearing in a BBC docu-soap on gay life in Brighton, to be broadcast this spring (Brighton Out The Closet. While being a lesbian in 21st century Britain is still far from easy, it’s thanks to Maureen and to women like her that lesbians today are able to be more open than anyone would have thought possible when The Important Thing is Love was broadcast thirty years ago. For anyone who missed the film showing, there will be another chance to catch it at the National Film Theatre in July, when Maureen will be speaking at a showing organised by Stephen Bourne in the Out of the Archives season.

A version of this article originally appeared in Diva magazine.

Jill Gardiner’s book From the Closet to the Screen: Women at the Gateways Club 1945-85 will be published by Pandora in 2002.

Taken from http://www.brightonourstory.co.uk/ourpast/importantthingislove.html

from observer: New surrogacy law eases the way for gay men to become legal parents

Gay male couples will be able to use a fast-track route to become the legal parents of surrogate children from next week. On 6 April, changes to the law will permit two men to be named as parents on a child’s birth certificate for the first time in British history.

The transition will take effect following the implementation of the final piece of the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. This last section is aimed at helping same-sex and unmarried couples who seek to have surrogate children and will allow them to secure legal parenthood in a new, simplified manner. At present, only married, heterosexual couples can use this route.

“These changes bring the law up to date with the realities of modern 21st-century life and recognise that increasing numbers of same-sex and unmarried couples are having children together,” said Natalie Gamble, of the fertility law firm Gamble and Ghevaert.

Surrogacy has become increasingly common and offers couples an alternative route to parenthood if all other methods, including IVF treatments, fail. Current legislation allows heterosexual, married couples to get a parental order to give them a birth certificate for a child born to a mother with whom they have entered into a surrogacy agreement. But gay, lesbian and unmarried couples cannot do this. The surrogate mother has to be named on the birth certificate. If she is married, her husband is legally considered to be the father.

An example is provided by the story of Steven Ponder and his partner, Ivan Sigston. Both are police officers. Last year, they became one of the first gay couples to father a baby in Britain when Ponder’s married sister, Lorna Bradley, gave birth to a boy, William.

Crucially, however, Lorna Bradley’s name appeared on the birth certificate, which made her a legal guardian of the child. Ponder and Sigston could have applied to adopt the baby. If successful, they would have been given an adoption certificate to replace his original birth certificate. But adoption is complex and involves the intervention of social workers and other professional groups.

The new system is far more streamlined. Provided that a court is satisfied that two men are in a stable relationship; that no fees, other than expenses, are paid to the surrogate mother; and that it is in the child’s best interest, then it will award a parental order for a birth certificate to be drawn up with both men named as parents, and therefore legal guardians. “Lesbian couples and unmarried couples usually have other routes available to them if they want to have children, but surrogacy is particularly important to gay men, so they will get most out of this change in legislation,” said Gamble.In effect, the law has now opened the doors in order to make it easy for a gay man and his partner to have children.

This point was backed by Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the gay rights campaign group: “We are delighted that the reality of people’s family lives is being recognised at last, that both lesbian and gay couples no longer have to go through the unpleasantness of an adoption procedure.”

Gamble warned, however, that while the new legislation would make it easier for gay couples to have children, the rules governing surrogacy in the UK remained badly out of date.

“There are particular pitfalls for single parents and those going abroad. In the latter case, a couple returning to England with a surrogate child find that the law does not recognise their right to parenthood. It can cause immense distress. There are a lot of aspects of surrogacy that now need to be addressed urgently.”