Tag Archives: gay rights

RAISING HELL SHOWING IN NEW YORK

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.

http://www.raisinghellfilm.wordpress.com

http://www.colage.org/newyork

http://www.mayslesinstitute.org/cinema

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

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Stonewall publishes groundbreaking research examining the experiences of children with gay parents.

Stonewall today publishes groundbreaking research examining the experiences of children with gay parents. ‘Different Families’ is based on interviews conducted by the University of Cambridge with over 80 children and young people from the age of four, all of whom have lesbian and gay parents. The research also provides shocking insights into the prevalence of homophobia in Britain’s schools, including primary schools. The children who experience this, although not gay themselves, identify that many schools still don’t address it.

‘We still do things together, and we’re still a big family and we’re still happy … and we still care for each other and we’re still there when someone needs someone.’ Jasmin, 8

‘I just feel there’s some difference between the other families and us. The way we all work together … We all link up like a puzzle.’ Eleanor, 8

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive said; ‘For the children of lesbian and gay parents their families look remarkably like everyone else’s. This research highlights how it’s the prejudices of others which often causes them far more distress than their own personal or family characteristics – and is further evidence of the urgent need to tackle homophobia in our schools.’

Among the report’s recommendations, some of which were made by the children interviewed, are for schools to respond robustly to homophobic language and bullying. YouGov polling commissioned last year by Stonewall showed that anti-gay bullying is almost endemic in Britain’s schools. Nine in ten secondary schools teachers reported that children – regardless of their sexual orientation – currently experience homophobic bullying in their schools. This affects children of gay parents too:

‘Sometimes they say … everybody’s got a dad, he must be dead, or something. I say no, he’s not dead, I’ve got a donor dad … sometimes I get teased by them calling my dad a donut dad … They say … I know what gay means, it’s two naked men dancing around on a boat.’ Mark, 8

‘In school I don’t like it how people make fun of gay people. Like when they say “that’s so gay”. Most people say it as a joke, and it’s not funny at all.’ Maheen, 13

‘She said, ‘well your mum’s gay, so why aren’t you?’ … and then it turned to really nasty comments about my mum. Oh your mum’s an effing dyke and all this stuff and I just thought that’s not on … I just ignored it, but it just got worse.’ Meg, 16

‘Normally people just say like … “gay dad” … and stuff like that. Normally I try and say something back because it like makes me feel better. Or I just try and ignore it. That’s harder obviously … The teachers tell them off but … secretly they always carry on.’ William, 15

source and to download the paper: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/media/current_releases/3966.asp

Guardian Article

Really great article from the Guardian here or read below, the comments under the original are good though

Getting used to gay parents

Now that it’s clear it doesn’t damage a child’s development, we should ask more interesting questions about gay parenting

By Celia Hannon

November 27 2009

It’s safe to say that when you find yourself in Jeremy Clarkson’s line of fire, you’re probably on the right side of the debate. Clarkson might be pleased that his “dad wasn’t a lesbian“, but not enough is known about the people for whom this really is the case.

The minor storm around a recent comment from Professor Stephen Scott that lesbians can make better parents illustrates that positive accounts of gay parenting are still liable to provoke outrage. But this is not all negative, because it means there is now an appetite to confront the political, social and legal questions raised by the growth of these families. It’s about time too. While gay parents have always existed, it’s only now that their families are increasing in number and visibility.

Civil partnerships, the Discrimination in Goods and Services Act and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (which granted lesbian couples equal legal rights as parents) have all paved the way in law. Now the wider availability of adoption, IVF and surrogacy means that many more gay people are able to turn their aspirations to become parents into a reality. Academic research points towards a wide diversity in family composition; some gay parents may have children from previous heterosexual partnerships, some may adopt and others may be embarking on co-parenting relationships with friends to ensure that their children have role models of both sexes. We should be just as wary of generalising about gay families as we would all British families.

Meanwhile, the idea that growing up as the child of gay parents is inevitably bad for you has been largely been discredited. A 2005 review of the research on lesbian mothers and gay fathers found there were no significant developmental differences between their children and those from heterosexual families. It’s time to move beyond that stale debate and ask some more searching questions. At the moment, far too little is known about how many gay families exist, and what their experience of parenting is like. Researchers have struggled to find large enough samples to represent a true cross-section of society. How many of these families are there? What do they want? How can public services support them equally as well as other types of family?

The past 50 years have seen us remodel the family as step-families and single parenthood have become commonplace, and women have chosen to have children later and remain in the labour market after doing so. This has been accompanied by profound shifts in our views on what good parenting looks like. The rise of gay families is a part of the next chapter of this change, and it should not be provocative to suggest that there might be things to learn from alternative approaches to parenting and kinship.

Clarkson is right on one count though. There is nothing about someone’s sexuality that predetermines their skill as a parent. What matters is how you parent, not who you sleep with. Stonewall famously introduced the slogan: “Some people are gay. Get over it.” Some parents are gay and we should get used to it so we can get on with the job of helping all parents raise their children as well as possible.

Gay Dads

Through the research and production stages of this film I am reminded time and again of the plights, fights and struggles of Lesbian mothers, however, research and discussion on Gay Dads is still fairly limited, and although I make no claims that the film I am making will cover every type of child with Lesbian and Gay parents – I feel it is important that they get as much exposure and understanding – there was a great article in the Observer in October by Rebecca Seal entitled “The rise of the gay dad: Having two dads isn’t as unusual as it used to be. Rebecca Seal meets the generation of young, gay men who are re-inventing the world of adoption”. However, most kids with Gay parents through adoption are still too young to talk about it in a reflective way, if there is anyone out there aged 14-30 ish with Gay dads that would like to talk with me about their experiences on camera I would be most grateful.

More info: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/oct/25/gay-adoption-fathers-parenting

Editing pasts, presents and futures

On a more practical level I am meeting my lovely editor and (the only person I dare collaborating with on this film) this weekend to cut something to submit for the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. It really would be a dream come true to have this film play there. What with this being my first film and all, who knows what will happen – we are keen to draw on the influences of queer film makers and theory from the 1970s onwards to embed the film in visual history as well as a social one – I have been watching tonnes of Jarman, Hammer and Freidrich’s to get an idea of the textures and techniuques I want to use so fingers crossed and watch this space as we may have a trailer by next week!

We could be Queer-oes

A video of a BBC News report on the studio invasion of the BBC's prime time Six O'clock News programme in 1988 by angry lesbians protesting about section 28

Gill Butler and Susan Golombok

This week I am going to interview Gill Butler – her name has been in my head for many years now, she was my mother’s solicitor in the custody case for us kids, I am really interested in meeting her as I feel her role in my family history is important and interesting also on a wider level she has been a solicitor since 1979 and has represented lesbians and gay men for almost 30 years.  In the 1980s and 1990s Gill represented many lesbian mothers fighting for custody of their children and gay fathers seeking contact.  Gill also acted in the first adoption applications by lesbians and gay men.

Last week I met with Susan Golombok, another heroine of mine for a her research into the developmental effects of non traditional parenting. It was so great to talk with her and hear her thoughts on what makes  for good parenting and also to discuss the latest news about “lesbians making better parents”. She also gave me an amazing photcopy of an article from Spare Rib 1976- thanks sue!

image from http://www.lagna.org.uk