Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Raising Teens": MTV documentary about gay parents

Logo Online offers the 2005 documentary “Raising Teens”, directed by Samantha Counter, originally filmed for and broadcast on MTV. The 48-minute film traces three teenagers with gay parents. Logo's link for the start of the film is here.

The first teen, Aidan, is being raised by two women in Richmond, VA. Aidan is auditioning to be conductor of the drum majors in her senior year in high school. Her teacher is tangentially concerned that her outside activities, including membership in the “Gay Straight Alliance” could prove a distraction. The movie depicts Richmond is ultra conservative (with pictures of the Monuments) and shows the “Homosexuality is Sin” banners outside the Richmond Convention Center before an Equality Virginia dinner in April of 2005.

The second teen, Hope, is being raised by two gay men in Staten Island, New York. They had adopted her as a mixed-race child at the age of four months. She is trying to get into the college of her choice.

The third teen, Cooper, is a 19 year old male raised by two women. He was born after artificial insemination. The surrogacy contract allows Cooper to contact his biological father once, but only once unless the father consents to seeing him repeatedly. There is a scene where the two mothers confront Cooper with this factual reality.

The movie provides a journal of the problem of “generativity” for gay men and lesbians – how to create and maintain family units and take cross-generational responsibility. We see that it can be done outside of established gender roles, but sometimes it is much more complicated, especially for the kids.

I took the picture shown here at the 2005 Equality Virginia annual dinner in Richmond in April. A violent storm had occurred a few hours before.

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