Emerson alum screens film at Boston Jewish Film
By: Liz Raftery
November 4, 2004
the article on the Berkley Beacon web site
An unconventional entry in the Boston Jewish Film Festival
(BJFF) is The Gay Marriage Thing, directed by Emerson alumnus
Stephanie Higgins. A work-in-progress, the film documents
the recent controversy over homosexuals' right to marry,
particularly in Massachusetts.
According to Higgins, the project will eventually be a 45-
to 50-minute short, but only the first 15 minutes will be
screened at the BJFF.
The film centers around one Massachusetts lesbian couple
planning their wedding, and the controversy that surrounds
Higgins began filming footage that would become The Gay
Marriage Thing on a whim after she was allowed to listen
in on the State House legislation in February regarding
the gay marriage "thing," and then discussed the
issue with protesters outside.
"Some of [the people there] made me cry, some of them
made me laugh, some of them made me really angry,"
Higgins, herself a lesbian, said in a recent phone interview
with The Beacon. "They were talking about me, about
By the time Higgins left the rally, she realized that she
had the makings of a documentary on her hands. However,
her initial inspiration came months before.
"What really started it was when the ruling came down
on November 18th, when the Supreme Court finally said 'this
[discrimination] is wrong," Higgins said. "I had
never thought about being married, as a gay person myself...I
literally cried that day because the thought had never occurred
to me before."
Higgins knew it was important to include all sides of the
issue in The Gay Marriage Thing.
"It's a complicated issue," she said. "It's
much more complicated than what you see on the news. That's
the point of the project."
A common misperception is that the film is geared towards
only gay rights activists, but in reality the filmmakers
hope to create food for thought for people on both sides
of the issue.
"One of the things that makes [this documentary] different
is that we really thought out the opposite opinions...Our
audience is people who are questioning about the issue,"
"Our intent is to start a dialogue," she continued.
"Everyone is treated with the same amount of respect
in the film. Hopefully everyone can find someone they can