CNN, O'Brien Focus on Gays in America

BY Advocate Contributors

June 01 2010 12:50 PM ET

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN XLRG (Getty) | Advocate.comAlthough exposing yourself to the world’s scrutiny can’t come without its share of concerns, neither man seems particularly shy. Upon answering the phone for this interview, Spino explains that he and Brown are cleaning up from Nicholas’s “first major, major vomit.” The men are so open that the documentary doesn’t only follow their three-person family, it also includes their egg donor and the surrogate, whom they call their “carrier.”

One of the biggest ironies in Brown and Spino’s story is that although they can both be Nicholas’s legal parent, they can’t become legal partners to each other. It’s a twist that strikes a particular chord with O’Brien, whose parents weren’t able to marry in Baltimore in 1958 because her Australian-born father is white and her mother is black. “They had to drive to D.C. to get hitched and then came back to Baltimore and live illegally,” she says. O’Brien, who is 43, and all five of her brothers and sisters were born before 1967, when the Supreme Court overturned all state bans on mixed-race marriage.

“I’m multicultural,” O’Brien says. “I have my toes in a lot of different pools. It’s been really interesting to cover these types of stories at the same time we have a black president, at the same time we’ll have changing demographics in the census.”

Then, perhaps anticipating questions she’ll get on the sidewalk after Brown and Spino’s story airs, she adds, “No one is going to claim that Gary and Tony represent every single person in the gay community. But we really get into their history and into their heads. They talk about their childhoods, about their struggles, about coming out, and about building a family. It’s compelling. These two guys are great stories.”





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