Welcome to the website of Building Blocks: an Interactive Conversation with LGBTQ Families!

Building Blocks

Welcome to the official website for Building Blocks: An Interactive Conversation with LGBTQ Families!

This project aims to inspire LGBTQ families and LGBTQ parents-to-be by sharing resources and stories about baby-making and family planning; talking about anonymous donors, known donors and/or adoption with kids and developing empowering creation stories; combatting heteronormativity; gender identity and parenting names; legal issues like second parent adoption; DIY at-home baby-making, fertility specialists and pregnancy; navigating the adoption process; and most of all, discussing answers to this question: How can the world change to be more inclusive and celebratory of our (LGBTQ!) families?

This project is an interactive documentary. When it is complete, you will be able to choose what you hear about; this interactive strategy is designed to facilitate entertaining and educational collective viewing experiences (think: Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Novel meets LGBTQ family-planning resource guide).

We are filming in and around the Philadelphia area this summer (2016). Find out how to get involved with the filming!

An interactive video full of conversations with LGBTQ families!

Who it’s for:
The primary target audience is LGBTQ prospective parents and LGBTQ families, especially children of LGBTQ parents/guardians. For prospective parents, it’ll be a resource guide full of story-sharing from people who have “walked won the road before them” and can share wisdom, inspiration and advice. For children, it’s a place to see more families like their own and to learn more about their own creation story by knowing more about how LGBTQ families come together and perspectives on, for example, what it means to have a donor. This project began with a specific focus on donor conception, but is expanding to include all sorts of family-planning methods, including adoption, surrogacy and fostering.

What does “interactive” mean?
It means that the person watching the video (and imagine here a group setting — perhaps at an LGBTQ center event) can make choices as they go — so if one person talks about using a known donor, for example, then options on screen might be “more about donor contracts” or “what about anonymous donors?” and the audience can choose! The idea is to facilitate a group screening experience that would generate a discussion afterwards, but also, anyone could then go and watch the¬†segments that didn’t play in the group setting later on. When complete, the project will be free, online and readily available.

What filming entails:
The goal is to film with families and prospective parents in two ways: In the studio (parents/adults) and at home/on location (anywhere we can film “on the fly” conversations, rather than static interviews). The list of core topics, question list and release forms will be given to all filming participants to review in advance. Questions can be added, changed and/or deleted in order to best fit the family; this is about sharing your story in a way that feels empowering and truthful!

Please see these example videos. This material requires a password — please contact Laura (period) Zaylea (at) Temple (dot) edu if you’d like to see these videos from our project rough cut.

Conversation topics:
These may vary by family, but most families will ideally reflect on: Choosing a method/way of creating a family, donor choice, parent names, talking with kids about donor/creation story, combatting heteronormativity, media representation, ways the world can be more inclusive of your family, advice for prospective parents.