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Iowan Mom Illustrates Trans Identity to Her Kids in We Live Here: The Midwest exclusive Clip

Iowan Mom Illustrates Trans Identity to Her Kids in We Live Here: The Midwest exclusive Clip

<p>Iowan Mom Illustrates Trans Identity to Her Kids in <em>We Live Here: The Midwest</em> exclusive Clip  </p>
Courtesy Hulu

We Live Here: The Midwest’s Nia and Katie

In an exclusive clip from Hulu’s documentary We Live Here: The Midwest, an Iowan mom, who married her childhood sweetheart, illustrates her partner’s identity for their five children.

The experience of living as a queer person in the United States is not necessarily the same for someone in New York City or San Francisco as it is for an LGBTQ+ person in Nebraska or Kansas. The new Hulu documentary We Live Here: The Midwest, from director and executive producer Melinda Maerker and executive producer David Clayton Miller, follows several LGBTQ+ families as they navigate being out in their midwestern states. In the exclusive clip below, Iowan moms Katie and Nia, who were childhood sweethearts, share how Katie illustrated Nia’s trans identity to their children.

The film, available on Hulu on Dec. 6, follows a diverse set group of families, illustrating similarities and also the breadth of the queer experience for Midwesterners.

A synopsis for the documentary explains:

“We Live Here: The Midwest profiles families who hope to stay in a part of the country they love, and where they have often established deep roots: a trans/queer family with five children in Iowa must find a new community after being expelled from their church; a gay Black couple with a young daughter test the line of acceptance in Nebraska; a lesbian couple homeschool their bullied son on a farm in Kansas; a gay teacher in Ohio creates a safe space for LGBTQIA+ students; and a couple in Minnesota struggles to rebuild their families following both of their transitions. Meanwhile, Minnesota State Representative and queer mother, Heather Keeler, brings LGBTQIA+ rights to the political forefront despite ongoing death threats. Fundamentally, the film captures a crucial time where anti-queer legislation and sentiment is rapidly multiplying across the country, and the values of all midwestern families are put to the ultimate test.”

We Live Here: The Midwest’s Families with Maerker and Miller Frank Micelotta/Hulu

The premiere of We Live Here: The Midwest at the Director’s Guild of America in Los Angeles brought families together with Maerker and Miller for a post-screening panel. During the panel, Katie went deeper into an emotional moment in the film where Maerker had asked her about her relationship with the church, which had been an integral part of her life until she was no longer welcome in a way she had been before coming into her queerness.

“Melinda was the first person who had ever asked me how I felt and about everything that had happened [with the church]. That was a raw response. What you saw was very real. As time has gone on, I’ve really had to assess why the church was so important to me, what I found in the church that I really loved,” Katie explained. “What I realized is I love the relationships. I love community. I love people. And I want to share the love that we have, that our family has. That’s what I want to do.”

Regarding the storytelling as a tool for change, on the panel, Miller said, “I recognize the power that cinema has to change people and affect people.... When Melinda and [made the film], it was really important for us to [focus on] families. We had seen so many documentaries about coming out and about how people are doctors, lawyers amongst all the gay or LGBTQ+ plus spectrum, however, we haven’t really seen any families.”

“Let’s see what it is like to film the children so that people can resonate with them. When children are involved, you have to make the change,” he added.

Watch the clip from We Live Here: The Midwest (available on Hulu Dec. 6) below.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist