Gayby Baby


If there’s one thing I envy about children, it’s their ability to make the most out of situations. Think about how easily you made friends as a child, how well you played with others. There was no awkward small talk, no self consciousness…you just joined in and played. Children have an amazing ability to roll with things regardless of who they are or where they came from.

Should we be surprised when we see that children being raised by homosexual parents are no different?

GAYBY BABY is a look at four Australian children being brought up in same-sex households. First we meet Gus, a young man who is seemingly obsessed with professional wrestling. Next, there’s Ebony, a girl whose love of singing has her sights set on a school for the performing arts. Then there’s Matt, a young Aussie footballer who struggles with his mother’s steadfastness to her faith. Finally, we have Graham, a lad who at eleven is still struggling to read and write up to the expected level.

The only thing these four children (and their siblings) have in common is the sexual orientation of their parents. Were they grouped together in a sociological study, it’s unlikely that any commonality would be found in their attitude, character, or morality. When we compare and contrast these children, the only thing we come away with is how much they are like any other child we have met or heard of. They are outgoing when they want to be, and withdrawn when they feel pressure. They are prone to moodiness, and capable of unlimited love.

In other words – they are everyday children.

If we filled this film out with four other youngsters from heterosexual parents, I wager you’d have a hard time telling which is which.

In fact, it’s when the action turns to the parents that this film really shows the realities of raising children in a same-sex relationship. Two of the couples we meet are taking on great personal difficulties and stresses with the children they have adopted. Ebony’s parents are in a constant struggle to work with her younger brother’s epilepsy. They are constantly dropping everything when he has a seizure, and though they are constantly struggling to keep things on an even keel, it never wavers their love or nurture for both of their children, and never seems to phase Ebony herself.

Then there’s Graham’s parents, who not only are taking on the challenge that his birth family didn’t guide him through reading, writing, or even speaking properly, but the fact that when they relocate for a job opportunity, they have to conceal the very nature of their sexual identity. We see how very much they want Graham to catch-up with the educational levels he has missed, and yet they cannot fully embrace it due to the culture surrounding them.

What GAYBY BABY observes is that a children’s character, moral compass, and potential can and will flourish in a same-sex relationship. They will not be affected by an absence of one sex or the other, and actually often have bigger fish to fry than living life as a statistic. While they are living proof against a rapidly dying argument, they would much rather spend time and energy on other, more important pursuits…

…like singing Adele, or watching Triple H.

Y’know – kids’ stuff.

GAYBY BABY has finished its Hot Docs engagement. Check out its official website for future screenings and home viewing.