“My Child” is a feature documentary about a courageous and inspiring group of mothers and fathers in Turkey, who are parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender individuals. They have not only gone through the difficult path of accepting their children for who they are, but have also taken the next step to share their experiences with other LGBT families and the public. In “My Child” seven parents intimately share their experiences with the viewer, as they redefine what it means to be parents, family, and activists in this conservative, homophobic and trans-phobic society.

About the film

In five homes in Istanbul, Turkey, seven parents of LGBT individuals talk about their experiences of becoming parents; about their children growing up and opening up to them; about the difficult path they had to go through in dealing with this; about themselves opening up to their families, and re-learning how to be a parent. They talk about themes such as denial, trauma, helplessness, fear, shame, acceptance, and re-birth. They say nothing has prepared them for this experience. None of the parenting guides, nothing passed on from their elders or schooling mentioned how one could be a parent of a LGBT child. They had to learn it from scratch. When they talk about how they experienced the coming out of their children, they refer to it as the death of a child and birth of a new one. They say this extremely traumatic experience has also led to their own rebirth, as they have been questioning what it means to be an individual, to be true to oneself, and to be a parent. In a conservative society, where family ties are important, they had to deal with their fears about what “others” would say, whether they would be ostracised if they were to come out to their own parents, families, and friends. They say that they are very lucky that they have children who have come out to them and their children have become their teachers in this process.

In their weekly meeting, as members of the support and advocacy group LISTAG, together with two LGBT-rights activists, who have been supporting LISTAG since its inception, we witness their activism for visibility, acceptance, and equal rights. At a monthly meeting, we sit with the parents and the volunteer psychologists where issues such as sexuality, sexual identities, orientation and transformations one goes through are discussed. There we meet other LGBT parents as well. At a monthly dinner party, we meet their children for the first time. Also, parents and children from other cities join us. At the end of the film, in preparation for the annual Pride March in Istanbul, the parents and activists meet up to make the signs and banners they will be using at the march. In the Pride March, the parents march with their banners as they are joined by thousands.

Turkish with English subtitles, 82 minutes.

Check out the trailer

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