Sunday, December 2, 2012

[Australia] - Maya the force be with us on marriage issue - Charles Waterstreet - National Times

Maya Newell with her mums,
Donna (left) and Liz
Charles Waterstreet feature piece today on Maya Newell, her film Gayby Baby and Marriage Equality. To find our more on Maya and her wonderful film and how you can help it become a reality, visit here.

[Source: Original Article]

I thought Penny Wong was going to swallow young Maya Newell whole on Q&A last Monday. Newell asked the panel: ''Have any of you ever thought of kids in same-sex families and how do you think a change in the marriage act might affect their lives?'' The look on Penny Wong betrayed her usual poker face. It was a mile of smile.

Mischief-maker Tony Jones threw to conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen who called for a rational debate and said: ''But you know, I'm OK with that now.'' If you've got Albrechtsen, the fight is over.

Newell's two mums have been together 27 years and she asked Barnaby Joyce why their relationship was worth less than anyone else's. Barnaby said he tried to walk as softly as he could, but stuck both his feet in his mouth: ''I know it is extremely sensitive for Maya … but in life you can't have everything you want.''

Joyce was still swallowing his toes when Wong swooped and anointed Newell dux of class, and said laws were important because they indicated what a society says is OK, and said: ''We'll get there one day.''

You would be forgiven for thinking that the debate on same-sex marriage and child rearing was over when the red-headed guy and the fat fellow on Modern Family adopted, but our very own Parliament voted 2-1 against it in September. Even Julia voted against it. When Janet is to the left of Julia, you've got to think the world is upside-down.

Newell is attempting to get the world upright again by making a feature-length documentary about kids growing up with same-sex parents, as she did. Both her mums were teachers in Sydney's inner west - the full-frontal Newtown experience. Dad was a Japanese friend of her biological mother and judging by Newell's extraordinary looks, Australian parents should look to Asia, not just for politicians and businessmen as Paul Keating implores - our very stock would be improved by mixing our DNAs.

Newell has joined forces with her university friend Charlotte McLellan to raise money for Gayby Baby, a film that shares the narratives of three kids of same-sex parents. One of the kids, Gus, 10, says: ''Sydney Mardi Gras is as good as Christmas, they are the best two days of the year.''

Newell didn't see her own family represented in any media until The Kids Are All Right with Julianne Moore and Annette Bening. She doesn't want other Gaybies, or the world, to be as ignorant as Julia.

It was Barack Obama's own kids who turned him around on the topic of gay marriage. Maybe the lack of kids is why Julia is so far behind the mood of Australia. Surveys show 62 per cent believe we should allow marriage equality. Newell believes that documentaries and film can change the way we think. Her early work explored the idiosyncratic nature of human beings. Richard: The Most Interestingest Person I've Ever Met was about a toy hoarder. Two told of people who are adult babies - ranging from infantilism, with adults living in large nappies and pins, to fetishists who felt more comfortable in the cot. One of the subjects, Julian, celebrated his second birthday for the 50th time in her film.

Families do not come in the same colours. Newell believes children need love, security and support, which can be given by any set of parent couplings, be it male, female, cross-cultural or transgender. You know this is true.
Our stories should be inclusive and not exclusive. Gayby Baby is raising $100,000 to complete production by ''crowd sourcing'', using websites that allow people to invest in projects they want to see.

Let's contribute to spreading the word. So the Cory Bernardis won't have the final say when he claims it is gay couples one day and animal sex the next. So that Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby will be laughed at when he says homosexuality is more dangerous than smoking. The kids are all right.

Donations can be made at:

[Source: Original Article]

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