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Series Review: Nuclear Family, Director: Ry Russo Young, 2021

The struggle of the LGBT people has changed and today their situation has changed greatly from the beginning of the recognition of them and their rights. Director Ry Russo Young's "Nuclear Family" series tells her special story, which contributed to an understanding of her special family for her time, after documenting many years of family photography. The 3-episode series. The story begins in the late 1970s in New York, when Sandy Russo and Robin Young met and fell in love. Sandy was married twice and even tried to have children, which was unsuccessful. She went to Boston and was offered a room where Robin lived. She arrived at the place and they started talking and immediately found a common language and were fascinated by each other. They continued their relationship and Robin moved to New York and later became a couple.


The decision they want children was an immediate one. They did not know what to do, until their friend found an explanation booklet and handed it to them. At that time there was still opposition to LGBT couples and they could not use the sperm bank. So they looked for a gay man to donate sperm to them. They did find Jack and Sandra got pregnant and gave birth to Cade in 1979. After about a year they wanted another child from another donor, and so With the help of a friend, they met Tom, a community activist, lawyer and handsome man, who collaborated and Robin became pregnant and gave birth to Ry in 1981.


Thus was created the family of 2 mothers and 2 daughters, with lots of love and giving to the daughters, when the men donating the sperm had no parental rights. The fathers lived in faraway San Francisco and there was no connection between them, until Sandy initiated it. She did not know her father, and her mother did not tell her who he was. When she grew up and began to investigate, it turned out that he had already passed away. Therefore, she did not want her daughters not to know their father and so the bond was formed.


They met with the sperm donor fathers and spent time together. It turned out that Jack was an alcoholic so they kicked him out of their lives, but with Tom the ties continued and became tighter. The condition was, that attention be given equally between the girls, but it was clear that Tom loved Ry more than her sister. So it went on until Ry turned 9 years old. Tom, who was a lawyer, suddenly filed a lawsuit requesting custody of her. This was the first lawsuit in which a gay father donates sperm seeking to have his daughter. This has created waves and interest not only in the United States. In the end, Judge Edward Kaufman ruled in a historical ruling that a person who donated sperm would not have parental rights.


The family was shaken during the trial. But, at that time AIDS was rampant and Tom, who contracted the disease died and the family made a profit. A fascinating and interesting series that tells a story from the past, that today has already changed and the whole atmosphere towards the LGBTs has completely changed. At the time it was not acceptable to be a LGBT couple, and today it is obvious.



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