What happens when your child comes out to you?
My Child is a feature length documentary-in-production about a very courageous and inspiring group of mothers and fathers in Turkey, who are parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender individuals.
In 2008, these parents got together and established LISTAG under Lambda Istanbul LGBT Solidarity Association, one of the first NGOs working for human rights of LGBTs in Turkey. Since then, LISTAG has been functioning as a solidarity and support group for friends, families, and especially parents of LGBT individuals, actively working against homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, and hate crimes.
In the documentary, seven parents in their homes in Istanbul, 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 own friends and families, and re-learning how to be a parent. They talk about themes such as denial, trauma, helplessness, fear, shame, acceptance, and re-birth.
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 ostracized 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.
We believe that one of the most effective methods in the struggle against homophobia and transphobia in this society is making it possible for the voices of LISTAG parents to be heard by as many people as possible. We believe that this documentary will make a contribution to the struggle for democratic rights for and to end discrimination and violence against LGBT individuals.