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Anyone and Everyone (2007)

| Documentary
Connected by having a son or daughter who is gay, parents across the country discuss their experiences in the documentary Anyone and Everyone. In it, filmmaker Susan Polis Schutz, depicts ... See full summary »

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Connected by having a son or daughter who is gay, parents across the country discuss their experiences in the documentary Anyone and Everyone. In it, filmmaker Susan Polis Schutz, depicts families from all walks of life. Individuals from such diverse backgrounds as Japanese, Bolivian, and Cherokee, as well as from various religious denominations such as Mormon, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Hindu, and Southern Baptist, share intimate accounts of how their children revealed their sexual orientation and discuss their responses. The parents also talk about struggling with the pain of their sons and daughters dealing with not being accepted by relatives or friends, and being ostracized by religious congregations. "It was so evil and so bad that we almost couldn't talk about it... You just had the idea it was so terrible that it was unspeakable," said a Mormon mother in the film. "Having heard all these awful things and what homosexuality was and then having a member of your family, a person ... Written by Producers

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"Mom, have you ever wondered if I were gay?"
12 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a powerful documentary on the experience of parents' learning their children are gay.

An Asian-Indian couple prominent in their community agree to appear in shadows -- the mother admits she originally believed "I must have gone wrong somewhere" and the father says he initially urged his son to consider marrying a "lesbian lady" -- and other parents reveal their identities as they describe a bittersweet journey that isn't easy for anyone.

There are helpful perspectives from the children, too -- those who packed suitcases before telling their parents, just in case they'd be disowned, for example. But mostly it is the parents we hear, including people who are ardent members of the Catholic and Mormon churches, where doctrine might accept homosexuality, as long as it isn't acted-upon.

"My son didn't choose to be gay. This is exactly how God created him," says a Mormon mother now trying to "make the world a better place for people" like her son.

The group PFLAG is mentioned as a helpful resource for parents. "I'm not a stupid person, but I was ignorant," admits a Japanese parent.

The documentary seems perhaps a little too sanguine in its choice of parents who are very articulate and accepting, though it is clear a number of them struggled along the way. Some reference to family rifts is made -- for example, when other relatives are disapproving and subsequently aren't invited to events like weddings.

The movie would have been more balanced and instructive if it had included parents who were still struggling mightily with the knowledge that their children are homosexual; these people surely exist. So why aren't they here?

Still, the film is helpful and educative and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to a better understanding of a complex issue.


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