Parents' Guide to

We Live Here: The Midwest

By Sabrina McFarland, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Stories of LGBTQ+ families in gender-identity docu; peril.

Movie NR 2023 53 minutes
We Live Here: The Midwest movie poster: Scene from the film features Katie Chiaramonte (left) and Nia Chiaramonte who are a White LQBTA+ married couple from Iowa holding hands and walking down a street, wearing casual attire, and credits for the film are in purple, black, and green letters

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Director Melinda Maerker presents an insightful and important documentary about a timely topic. "Many LGBTQ+ families were reluctant to be interviewed," says the lesbian filmmaker of We Live Here: The Midwest. "They feared recrimination from their jobs, schools, and neighbors. And yet, some were willing to share their stories."

"There's nothing different about who we are," says Courtney Skeeba, a Kansas farmer, lesbian, and parent. "The Midwestern culture has an overall resistance to change." Russell Exlos-Raber, a gay Ohio educator, mentor, and creator of safe spaces for LGBTQ+ kids, believes "change is difficult for people." And, notes Russell's husband Mark, a finance manager, "we need to work as a country on communication. Not just in small towns, everywhere."

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