Netflix is set to premiere a poignant mini-documentary titled “The Dads,” which delves into the often-overlooked experiences of fathers with transgender children. Directed by Luchina Fisher, the film features six men, including Wayne Maines, the father of actress Nicole Maines, and Dennis Shepard, father of the late Matthew Shepard. These fathers gather for a fishing trip in rural Oklahoma, sharing their stories and challenges in supporting their transgender children amid a climate of rising anti-transgender legislation.
Capturing Intimate Conversations on Parenthood
“The Dads” is a heartfelt exploration of fatherhood from a perspective rarely seen in media. The documentary captures the men’s candid discussions about their roles as fathers, the battles they’ve fought for their children’s safety, and the obstacles encountered along the way. Fisher’s approach provides a fly-on-the-wall perspective, allowing viewers an intimate look at these fathers’ journey towards understanding and advocating for their children.
Challenging Traditional Narratives
In her interview with LGBTQ Nation, Fisher discusses her motivation to focus on fathers of trans kids, challenging the traditional narratives around fatherhood and LGBTQ+ support. She emphasizes the need for more representations of supportive fathers in media and pop culture, breaking the stereotype that only mothers play active roles in nurturing and advocating for their LGBTQ+ children.
Inspirations and Influences
Fisher’s inspiration for “The Dads” stemmed from her first film, “Mama Gloria,” which centered around the love of a mother for her trans child. She recognized a similar need to highlight the stories of fathers, which led to the creation of this documentary. The film aims to bust myths and bring to light the supportive roles that fathers, including those from diverse backgrounds, play in the lives of their transgender children.
The Role of Dwayne Wade and Dennis Shepard
Dwayne Wade, a prominent figure in sports and a supportive father of a trans child, serves as an executive producer, lending his platform to amplify the film’s message. Dennis Shepard’s involvement adds historical context, showcasing the evolution of fatherly support in the LGBTQ+ community over the past decades.
A Message of Unconditional Love and Hope
“The Dads” aims to convey a message of unconditional love, showing that support for transgender children is a journey filled with challenges but ultimately leads to joy and hope. Fisher hopes the film will inspire fathers and others to embrace and advocate for their LGBTQ+ children, promoting a safer and more accepting world for all.
Bringing the Conversation to a Wider Audience
With its release on Netflix, “The Dads” has the potential to reach a global audience, sparking conversations and changing perceptions about the roles of fathers in the transgender community. The documentary stands as a testament to the power of understanding, acceptance, and the transformative journey of fatherhood in the context of transgender identity.