Hulu Doc Zooms In On LGBTQ+ Families Proud To Call America's Heartland Home

"We Live Here: The Midwest" profiles queer people who prefer to live outside of urban U.S. bubbles, and the unique challenges they face in doing so.
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For decades, major cities like New York and San Francisco have been seen as safe and supportive environments for the LGBTQ+ community. A new documentary, however, is about to take an in-depth look at the queer folks who have chosen to live outside of those urban bubbles, and the challenges they’ve faced in doing so.

On Thursday, Hulu unveiled an emotional trailer for “We Live Here: The Midwest.” Directed by Melinda Maerker, the film is billed as “an authentic portrait of courageous families in America’s heartland,” and is due out Dec. 6.

Among those profiled in “We Live Here: The Midwest” are a trans/queer family with five children in Iowa who have been expelled from their church, a gay Black couple and their young daughter in Nebraska, and a lesbian couple who reside on a farm in Kansas, where they’ve chosen to home-school their son after he was subjected to bullying.

Watch a trailer for “We Live Here: The Midwest” below.

“The students believe that nonbinary people do not exist,” one of the film’s young subjects says in the trailer. “I’m here right now, so we do exist.”

“We’re altering what defines a nuclear family,” adds another subject.

Also featured in the film is Minnesota state Rep. Heather Keeler, who addresses the death threats she says that she’s faced as an Indigenous queer woman in politics.

Speaking to People in an interview published Thursday, Maerker said she wanted to shine a light on the Midwest because it’s “really the heart of family values.”

Hulu's "We Live Here: The Midwest" is set to be released Dec. 6.
Hulu's "We Live Here: The Midwest" is set to be released Dec. 6.
David Miller/Hulu

Producer David Miller, who is married to “Glee” and “American Horror Story” creator Ryan Murphy, echoed Maerker while stressing the importance of showing how queer families live.

“I was obviously very happy with gay marriage passing in the Supreme Court [in 2015],” Miller told People. But 2016 — the year of Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election — offered a stark reminder of the anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment that still prevails across much of the country, he said.

The release of “We Live Here: The Midwest” feels auspiciously timed, given the surge of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in many conservative states.

Yet, as one of the film’s subjects explains in the trailer, even those residing in more accepting places shouldn’t take their safety for granted: “It does feel like at any moment, anywhere, it could change.”

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