At a time when Australia is divided on the issue of same-sex marriage, four children with gay and lesbian parents share their stories.
Today there are now millions of children being raised by same sex couples worldwide. We are in a Gayby-boom. But who are these kids? What does it mean to grow up with same-sex parents? And are kids in gay families actually different to other children? At a time when the world is debating marriage equality, these questions are more pertinent than ever. Told from the perspective of four children on the cusp of puberty, and being raised by same-sex parents, Gayby Baby is a frank and intimate film, shot in the style of cinema verite, that tells the coming of age stories of Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham.
In Gus’ Story we delve into the world of a boy who is exploring his masculinity. Gus loves wrestling and has decided that the famous wrestler Sean Michaels is his ideal man. But this “tough guy” encapsulates everything Gus’ mothers’ fear Gus might become. With the Wrestling Championships coming to Sydney, Gus makes a plan to change his mothers’ opinion so that he can attend.
Ebony’s Story explores one girl’s quest to find her place. Ebony is determined to make her singing dreams a reality by auditioning for Newtown Performing Arts High. But her need to make the cut is not about ego: she has heard that Newtown is a place where gays are accepted – a world away from her home in Parramatta, where people think a donor is a “doughnut”.
In Matt’s Story we discover a young man having an existential crisis. Matt’s mother Sandy is deeply religious and the family attends Church every Sunday, but Matt has heard the pastor talk about same sex couples as a sin against god – and it’s got him questioning everything. How can he believe in a god that doesn’t allow his mothers to love each other?
Finally, in Graham’s Story, we travel to conservative Fiji, where Graham and his fathers cannot be “out”. Further complicating things is that prior to being adopted by his fathers, Graham wasn’t taught to speak, read or write. When his teacher sets a writing task where he must write and present a story about himself, Graham must rise to the challenge, and decide whether to “out” his family, or keep up the lie.
As families become increasingly fragmented and the idea of “normal” all but fades from public perception, a portrait of children in same-sex families can offer picture of the value systems that really count in modern life. What is family, and how and by whom should it be defined?