- Director: Lara Embry; Carolyn Sherer
“Why Alabama?” friends ask. “You must be crazy.” For lesbian couples living in a deeply conservative state, where same-sex families have no legal protections against discrimination, these are not unfamiliar words. When it comes to Southern hospitality, Alabama seems to have little to offer the women featured in Lara Embry and Carolyn Sherer’s stirring and empowering documentary. But that certainly doesn’t keep them from fighting relentlessly for their rights.
After Cari is denied access to her hospitalized infant son, she and her wife Kim spend just under a decade battling for her to legally become his mother. When Kinley loses custody of her son strictly because of her sexual orientation—despite his being physically abused by his stepmother while living with his father—she and her wife Autumn never lose hope of getting him back. Meanwhile, in the Alabama State House, the affable but aggressive Patricia Todd takes on the political establishment (that is, the white, heterosexual, male, conservative Christian patriarchy) as the first openly gay state representative in Alabama—and the lone legislative voice of its LGBTQ community.
While the nation has moved rapidly toward marriage equality for all, Alabama, led by fiercely religious Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, harks back to the Civil Rights era with its intolerant resistance to progress. But with her sharp focus on the strengths and successes of these steadfast Southern lesbians, Sherer highlights the little bit of rainbow in this deeply red state.
— JOANNE PARSONT