A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Accept people for who they are. Don't be afraid to be your true self. Find a support network of family and friends. Teens may want to consider careers such as rights advocate, educator, and politician.
Positive Role Models
Russell Exlos-Raber is an Ohio educator, mentor, and creator of safe spaces for LGBTQ+ kids. Jessica Hanson is a politician in the Minnesota House of Representatives involved in the passage of LGBTQ+ rights legislation.
BIPOC, LGBTA+, and White kids, teens, and young and older adults. Representations include Melinda Maerker, the documentary's White lesbian director; Heather Keeler, a politician in the Minnesota House of Representatives who is also Indigenous, queer, and a mom; singer Mario Foreman-Powell and mental health therapist Monte Foreman-Powell, a Black and married gay couple who are also parents; and David Clayton Miller, one of the film's White producers and also a married gay father who has kids with director and writer Ryan Murphy.
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Violence & Scariness
Bullying, death threats, homophobia, transphobia, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, homelessness, estranged relationships with family members, and loss of employment.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Revealing true gender identity, kissing, dating, marriages, divorces, and pregnancies.
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Products & Purchases
Social media platforms, smartphones, laptop computers, apparel with logos and messages, jewelry, and tattoos.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Bottles of beer and glasses of alcoholic drinks.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that We Live Here: The Midwest is a documentary that profiles the personal stories of LGBTQ+ families. Images and references include bullying, death threats, homophobia, transphobia, estranged relationships with family members, homelessness, loss of employment, kissing, dating, marriages, divorces, pregnancies, glasses of alcoholic drinks, and bottles of beer. The word "pissed" is used. Accepting people for who they are, not being afraid to be your true self, and finding a support network of family and friends are the documentary's main themes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Movies with LGBTQ+ Characters
Growing Up Queer: Thoughtful Movies and TV Shows About LGBTQ+ Youth
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