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'Family Values' Wins Project Pushback Video Contest


I mentioned a while back that I was a finalist judge (1 of 15) for Project Pushback, a video contest searching for "New Messages for the Freedom to Marry". There were 11 finalists, 68 entries, more than 60,000 viewings of the videos, and 6,300 votes from the public.

Of all the finalists, this video, Family Values, which is certainly one of the most straightforward of the bunch, was at the top of my list. I'm happy to see that others agreed.

Andrew Putschoegl, its creator, won the $2,500 grand prize. The $1,000 People's Choice Award winner was Blaire Wedding Project, created by Samantha Lavin and Lori Brener.

Watch Family Values, AFTER THE JUMP...

Watch more of the videos, including the People's Choice, which also ranked high on my list, here.

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  1. That was beautiful. Straight forward and passionate. I may have even cried a bit...

    Posted by: Kurt from Brooklyn | Jun 25, 2009 9:38:33 AM

  2. Oh gosh, I totally just teared up.

    Posted by: Timothy | Jun 25, 2009 9:54:19 AM

  3. WOW, that is just awesome!

    Love will conquer hate.

    Posted by: RONTEX | Jun 25, 2009 10:08:48 AM

  4. A gay teacher at a HS in MA, I participated in my school's Gay Awareness Day. At a school wide assembly, several of us, and even more students, came out to the audience. It was a great thing. As the teachers spoke, each one said something like "I'm gay, and my partner and I got married two years ago." Or "I'm gay, and my spouse and I are raising our two children."

    After the 7th or 8th teacher spoke, the 'and' started to sound like a 'but.' I'm gay BUT I'm married. I'm gay, BUT I have children. I'm gay, BUT I'm normal, just like you all want me to be- partnered, parenting, meeting the American model of 2.3 kids and a Subaru.

    I love teaching at a school in a state that allows gays to marry and raise kids. I love the wave of acceptance gay students and teachers got on that day in my school. But I miss the energy and ideals of gay radicalism from the 70's/80's, when there was a sense of transgression and new possibilities by declaring one's sexuality. Being gay used to include questioning a dominant paradigm and seeing the world in a different way.

    This video, as sweet and earnest as it is, stirred up those feelings again.

    Posted by: jno | Jun 25, 2009 10:30:51 AM

  5. nice vid!

    Posted by: KFLO | Jun 25, 2009 10:49:51 AM

  6. Thanks for your kind words everyone. As the filmmaker, it's encouraging to know that this is resonating with you.

    JNO, I think there is room for many ideas and ideologies when it comes to our civil rights. Clearly we wouldn't be where we are today without the pioneers like Harry Hay, Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, members of the Mattachine Society, and those who participated in the Stonewall Riots.

    I created this PSA to reach out to the group of people who voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8 here in California -- people over age 65. In-your-face activism is less likely to reach them, while relatable images and a story told by someone of their generation is more likely to have an impact.

    Believe me, I've been at the protests and marches (before and after the passing of Prop 8), and that kind of visibility is incredibly important. I think the message this spot conveys is important too.

    Thank you for taking the time to share *your* story! :)

    Posted by: Andrew Putschoegl | Jun 25, 2009 11:03:40 AM

  7. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

    Why is it that gays are the most artistic people on earth, but when it comes to creating a public statement like this, we get an amateurish video that looks homemade? Nevermind the fact that the entire thing reeks of suburban white people.

    Where is an auteur when we need one?

    Posted by: Kirby | Jun 25, 2009 11:16:49 AM

  8. Kirby, I don't understand if you're being sarcastic or hypercritical when you call Family Values "amateurish." Personally I thought this "Crying Indian" video might have been even too glossy. It wasn't intended to please us gay people; as the filmmaker pointed out, it was designed to specifically connect to suburban white people: the ones who give money and votes. As a suburban white person, it did that to me.

    And as far as your call for an artist - there were plenty of glorious pieces of art in Project Pushback, had you looked, and none, I am sure, from you.

    Posted by: Sally Ignab | Jun 25, 2009 11:37:50 AM

  9. Well done. They left out those horrible words "same sex marriage" and "gay marriage" and instead used affirming terms like "Husband". BRAVO!

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jun 25, 2009 12:02:50 PM

  10. This video is awesome. As a gay parent, I have been wondering why the quest for marriage rights has not included the fact that we have families and that our children our put at a disadvantage by having parents that can't marry.

    I visited California during the prop 8 battle. If this video and ones similar to it had been shown on TV instead of the ones that simply quoted the LA Times and such, I think Prop 8 would have gone down in flames.

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 25, 2009 12:32:32 PM

  11. Andrew.. Thank you.

    After wiping my eyes a bit.. I realized how important it is to keep the discussion going with people who dont understand. Your video is full of love, compassion and the values we all desire for.

    Thanks for making my day!

    Posted by: Trace | Jun 25, 2009 1:39:39 PM

  12. why couldn't this be my reality? really good job, it shows the people like MY FAMILY that gay people aren't just disco dancing, sex addicts who will be lonely forever...thats what my mom cried at me during one fight "gay people are SO LONELY!!"...finally, people are stepping up and teaching that this is not the case.

    Posted by: john | Jun 25, 2009 2:20:07 PM

  13. One of the biggest lies that the anti-marriage groups tell church goers is that soon, government will force their churches to marry same sex couples or revoke their not for profit status.

    I think we should be VERY careful whenever showing images of gay families in religious cerimonies (such as the baptism shown in this video).

    Just saying, if someone is scared of sharks, you probably don't want to show them something that makes them think about sharks. Not if you're trying to persuade them.

    Posted by: marcelo | Jun 25, 2009 3:00:31 PM

  14. @ Andrew P- No critique meant of your work. I think you did a great video, and I think it targets the audience you're after. Congrats.

    The video made me wonder "out loud" about what being gay means these days. But I didn't mean to suggest it's not good work. cheers.

    Posted by: jno | Jun 25, 2009 3:25:54 PM

  15. About showing gay families in religious families, Marcelo, I agree that we need to be careful, but not absurd. During the No on 8 campaign, we pushed religion and gay people out of the messaging, and that didn't work out so well.

    When you talk to people who have had a change of heart, you hear again and again that they changed their mind because they saw that gay people are no different than they are - in the words of Jerry Sanders, no less worthy or capable of having a family than themselves.

    There are two ways to deal with a fear of sharks: avoid sharks, or learn about them. The people who say that you can't be gay and Christian are the ones who really need to see this the most. After all, it is not Christian to turn your neighbor away from Christ.

    Oh, and the baptism scene probably alienates more gay people than Christians because of all of the hurt that the Church has imposed on us. It sure made me do a double-take.

    Posted by: Sally Ignab | Jun 25, 2009 3:46:25 PM

  16. Honestly I was unimpressed. And irritated that they combined the words "strong morals" with images of a ridiculous Christian ritual. Religion has nothing to do with morality. What exactly are they saying, that non-Christians are NOT moral because we don't dump magic water on our babies' heads?


    Posted by: Eshto | Jun 25, 2009 4:23:54 PM

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