Culture / Media

Upworthy Posts Video on Gay Marriage and Expects Weeping

Upworthy posted a video with the following lead, “Still Know Someone Who’s Against Gay Marriage? Show Them This Video, And Watch Them Cry Like A Baby.

The video was actually created by Freedom To Marry and is a montage of GLBT couples–some with children, some without–with the poem Until We Could by Richard Blanco read as a narrative voice over.

It is a beautiful video–the vision and the sentiment–but I can’t help but wonder if videos like this actually have an impact on their intended audience, those fighting against marriage equality.

So, I forced Deborah to watch so that we could each give our honest reactions.

Deborah: If there are still people who don’t like gays getting married, five more minutes of gays getting all loved up to a never-ending poem is not going to do it. As a matter of fact, it’s probably going to antagonize them even more. I come from parents who hate gays, myself included. You can show them all of our collective tax returns, non-profit board memberships, involvement in religious organizations, and the many fabulous kitchens (I was momentarily distracted by the super cool red kitchen in the video and I now covet it), and all they will see are disgusting pedophiles who defy the laws of their god. Every same-sex kiss will make them throw up in their mouths and pray for our souls no matter how adorable the couple. They will, in fact, probably cry like babies until we stop making them watch these videos.

Vikki: I am a married lesbian with kids who has a soft spot for montages just like this and I watched and felt nothing. Well, I did briefly worry that Luisa and I aren’t gay enough to be married since our coffee cups don’t perfectly complement each other. I have long believed that activism around any issue requires action across the spectrum–from radical to conservative–and Freedom To Marry and videos like this fall on the more conservative end of that spectrum. However, I do not believe that those who still oppose marriage equality at this late stage of the fight–a fight that many conservatives have already said has been lost–will be swayed by videos like this. I can’t imagine a hardcore anti-gay person watching this video and saying, “Oh! I hadn’t seen the inherent beauty in same-sex love until now!” The tactic is clear. They want to make LGBT families seem just like everyone else, to make our families seem less threatening. But this is a tactic that alienates large parts of our community and might even make future struggles more complicated.

So, what do you think? Did the video evoke all the feelings for you? Do you think it will have that effect on anti-marriage activists? Can our kitchens and coffee cups live up to such high expectations?

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7 Comments

  1. Well, I was about 2 minutes in and thinking it’s slightly annoying, so I am not surprised that you “felt nothing” (I came over from FB). I read your comments before watching, laughed at the coffee cups and felt like these were actors, even if they weren’t. Maybe it’s the voiceover – maybe it’s the lack of real voices coming from the people in it – or the words being read? Something’s off. I think some videos really DO move people. Do they impact what everyone thinks? No. I doubt it. But some truly do touch the heart. It did get more real with the quick montage of current events and coverage and I could feel it a little. And now I’ve rambled through my take.

    • Vikki Reich says:

      Maybe the unreal feel of it diluted the message. Maybe if it had a dance beat. Ha. But do think a person entrenched in an anti-gay position can be swayed by this? Some people will never change.

  2. The cinematography is solid. That’s about it. And I cry at everything… even old episodes of Punky Brewester.

  3. Puke! Although, I have always wanted to slow shower while someone reads me poetry and plays slow-jams in the background.

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