Farm Family

Title: Farm Family: In Search of Gay Life in Rural America
Director: Tom Murray
Studio: T Joe Murray Videos
Year: 2004
Available: Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

The gay ghettos and communities of major cities are what catches the attention of the media and of young gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. Most of what society understands about queer life revolves around the urban queer scene in large cities. Rural gay life is rarely discussed.

Many queer youth flea rural areas and small towns, so they can live in large cities where they can more easily blend in, and where it is easier to find life partners. The idea that some sexual minorities might prefer rural life is novel to many urban gays. This documentary catches one's attention, because it looks at queer life in a different, and possibly, a very difficult and isolated environment.

Community has a very different sense for those who are lonely and isolated in rural regions. In this documentary, one gets the sense that the rural gay community is smaller, and much more geographically spread out.

Farm Family limits itself to the life of gay men in rural and farming communities. Lesbians are not discussed in the documentary. That is a disappointing limitation, because comparing the realities of rural gay male life and rural lesbian life would be interesting.

Each person, and each couple interviewed had a slightly different lifestyle, and a slightly different reality of how the neighbors and the community accepted them. The diversity of queer rural realities was impressive. Reflecting on the video, one gets the sense that rural gay life cannot easily be summarized, condensed, or generalized.

People wanting a fast-paced movie, with a lot of action and loud music will be disappointed by Farm Family. This video contains pleasant interviews of gay men living in very rural areas, in some cases living off the land, using old technology. The stories contain elements that bridge the rural and urban divides.

Coming out, finding a partner, and adjusting to being an out couple are experiences common in rural and metropolitan environments. That might be why there is something intriguing about the rural experiences to largely urban gays.






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