Choosing Children: 25th Anniversary

In 1985, Kim Klausner and Debra Chasnoff produced the landmark documentary film, Choosing Children. The film explored the then-almost-unheard-of idea that lesbians and gay men could have children — after coming out. Choosing Children helped launch the LGBT baby boom and opened up the possibilities for each of us to create our own definition of “family.”

Many Bay Area organizations joined together for a community-wide screening and celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of Choosing Children, celebrate all the wonderful children LGBT people are now parenting, and raise funds to permanently preserve this historical gem on DVD. The restored 35 mm film print, courtesy of the OUTFEST Legacy Project and the UCLA Film Archive now needs to be converted to digital format so it can be available for wider distribution.

The event was a rare opportunity to soak up a delightful piece of cultural history and a special moment to marvel at how much progress we’ve made.

Highlights of the event included:

Oscar Klausner and Noah Chasnoff  welcoming the crowd and thanking their parents, the filmmakers.

National Center for Lesbian Rights executive director Kate Kendell on the imporance of preserving our history.

California Supreme Court Judge Donna Hitchens, who was filmed for Choosing Children when she was the founding attorney at the Lesbian Rights Project, which eventually became the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Kim Klausner and Debra Chasnoff  sharing a little history.

Rochelle Austin with her son El Horin  who was seven when he was interviewed in the film and Annie Jupiter-Jones, who was four years old in the film, coming on stage with some of her parents, including California State Representative Tom Ammiano, whom she learned at age 10, was the man who was her donor.

The benefit event was a co-production of GroundSpark, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, Our Family Coalition, The San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Community Center, Frameline, and the Bay Area chapters of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.