Produced & Directed
“Living in the Shadows of Exclusion” follows the lives of four longtime Asian American gay and lesbian families as they speak out on marriage and Marriage Equality in the face of California’s virulent Proposition 8 campaign. Narrating stories and experiences that personalize these issues for general audiences, they speak of life and love and the challenges they faced under Prop 8, the U.S. federal Defense of Marriage Act, and U.S. immigration laws that have historically devastated LGBT bi-national families. The narrative culminates in the historic events of the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court rulings, which struck down DOMA and repealed Proposition 8. The new updated and extended version provides rarely seen historic documentary footage of these events and should prove to be an important part of San Francisco, as well as California, Asian American, LGBT and immigrant history.
Families include Prop 8 litigants, Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis, whereby Gaffney’s parents were one of the earliest Chinese Caucasian interracial couples to marry in California soon after the landmark 1948 Perez v. Sharp ruling, overturning California’s anti-miscegenation laws; and Filipina/o bi-national couple, Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado, whereby Tan faced the threat of deportation which would break up their family of 27 years and separate her from her partner and their twin teenage sons. Other families include Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women Transgender Coalition (APIQWTC) co-founder Crystal Jang and Sydney Yeong, and longtime Japantown residents and restauranteur Kenneth Kaji and Ryoji Imaizumi, as they recount the challenges faced by LGBTQ families with children, and senior LGBTQ couples.