It was only as recent as 2013 that the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party finally announced the decision to relax the one-child policy. Up to this time families were only permitted by law to have one child so it’s surprising that Hao Wu the filmmaker helming this short documentary actually has a sibling. Although that this is not the focus of the story that Wu is telling it, however it is part of the whole uniqueness of the significance tha traditional Chinese culture place on families and honoring their ancestors by keeping the bloodline going.
Hao being the only son is faced with the fact everyone is waiting for him to fulfill all the extended families expectations but unknown to them at the time, he is gay. He escaped his childhood home at the age of 20 and ran away to New York where he could be open about his sexuality and also follow his dreams of being a filmmaker. Along the way he met and fell in love with Eric a handsome Chinese/American New Yorker and they set up home together.
Telling his conservative parents about his sexuality and eventually about Eric was a very big deal indeed. However against all expectations they accepted it even though they didn’t fully understand or want to get on board, but full credit to them for loving their son regardless. Their one condition was that they didn’t share the news with the Hao’s 90 year old grandfather who actually seemed to us the most liberal part of the family.
When Hua and Eric decided they wanted a family of their own they were fortunate enough to find two surrogate mothers who were more than happy to make the guys dads.
Their first trip back to China with their young children to meet their extended family then became the main focus of this story. Hua’s mother had always been the central force of the family and had insisted on controlling everything, even to the point of bullying both her husband and their children. Now despite the fact she was extremely vocal about her strongly held feelings about the morality of gay parenting, she couldn’t but resist but completely embrace her new grandchildren
She did still insist on making up stories/excuses to Hu’s own grandfather to explain the absence of the newborn’s mother. but he was so happy that he finally had a great grandson to keep the ancestors satisfied, he didn’t push the subject too much,
Hua and Eric should be congratulated for making such efforts of being so proud of their new children and at the same time taking on the needs and expectations of their own heritage without ever comprising. Their’s is a tale of joy and acceptance that unwittingly makes them such perfect role models for both of their communities.