Last month, employees at Medibank Place enjoyed an exclusive screening of the acclaimed 2015 film Gayby Baby, the first in our Medibank Film Festival series. This festival supports our brand message of diversity and inclusion, and provides us with opportunities to become more aware of and connected to topics relating to culture, gender, LGBTI, age and accessibility.
After seeing the film, our enthusiastic audience wanted to learn more and submitted some questions to Maya Newell, Australian documentary filmmaker and Director of Gayby Baby, about what went into the making of the film and the stories of kids and their families.
Q: What inspired you to make Gayby Baby? Even though gay couples can’t marry, they have been having children for generations already. As one of those children, I felt that our voice is missing in the debate over same-sex marriage. I wanted to make a film that represented the voice of this new generation of kids, the newest members of the queer community.
Q: How were the families picked? We interviewed 30-40 kids from all around Australia. Some kids just have a certain charisma. I think Matt, Ebony, Gus and Graham have that unnameable thing!
Q: Was there any reason for focusing on just one kid per family even though some of them had an older sibling? It was very important to us that audiences had a real chance to get to know and connect with these children. With over 100 hours of footage already on the cutting room floor, we just wanted to give the screen time to these four incredible children.
Q: Did you find after the production that you had a personal and emotional attachment on some level with the families involved? Of course! We are still very much involved in their lives and constantly checking in on all the kids – now teens. For example, we just all walked in Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade to acknowledge the journey we have all experienced together.
Q: Is there a plan for any follow up to check in with the families featured in Gayby Baby? Well I have to say, the question has been raised a number of times [in relation to a follow up film]. I think we need to give it a rest for a while, but as the kids enter their adult stages and last years of high school we may give it another go! You can also connect with us on our website – www.thegaybyproject.com to find out more about our ongoing impact plans for family diversity across the world.
Q: Are there any resources you can recommend (aside from Gayby Baby!) to people interested in learning more about this important issue – or who would like to do what they can to support progress in this area? There is a wonderful international community of kids, teens and adults with LGBTIQ parents. We are partnering with an American organisation called ‘colage’ to release the film in the U.S. next month. Their website is a great resource for people wanting to know more. There are also parenting groups in Australia like ‘Rainbow Families’ who do a wonderful job of connecting up families for support.
You can follow Gayby Baby’s journey and future impact plans by connecting on