They Wed for Love—and Videotaped It for Gay Rights. Meet the Stars of “Married in Spandex”
By Michael Alan Goldberg
In this week’s PW, we introduce you to Amanda Kole and Rachel Turanski—a lesbian couple in West Philly who road-tripped to Iowa last summer to exchange wedding vows. And they had it all filmed for an upcoming documentary called Married in Spandex, which dives headfirst into the heated debate over same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
The 30-minute doc—shot and edited by Kole’s sister, Allison, and Allison’s boyfriend, Devin Gallagher (both are independent filmmakers), on a shoestring budget—is currently in post-production, and its creators have a Kickstarter project going to raise the $9,500 necessary to complete the film. Among the rewards for pledges: DVDs and movie posters; fingerless, gold spandex gloves from Philly artist (and wedding jumpsuit creator) David Laverdue; a private screening of Married in Spandex; and even an executive producer’s credit (which comes with a $1,000 donation).
The couple say the film is slated for a spring DVD release—they’re also trying to get it into several film festivals (including July’s 17th annual Philadelphia QFest, the largest LGBT film festival on the East Coast), as well as on local Philly cable.
Kole would like to see a day when same-sex marriage is simply an expression of love (and an economic partnership) rather than a political statement, and she believes that with the evolution of gay rights over the past couple decades, that day will arrive soon.
“First it was about coming out,” she says. “People lived in the closet their entire lives. Once they started coming out, you have gay groups and civil-rights groups and strong gay communities. Now we can walk down the street and hold hands with our partner and not only will the cops not beat us up, but if someone else tries to beat us up the cops will arrest them. We’re not being victimized constantly. So now we’re at the level where we can participate in the political debate and the mainstream media is starting to accept us, so even though the marriage debate is going to go back and forth for a while, things seem like they’re moving in a positive direction.”
“Once gay marriage is accepted, I think the people who are against it are going to be scared that their kin and their offspring are going to be gay and it’s going to kill their lineage,” Turanski says. I feel like to them, it’s a threat to humanity for gay people to be accepted as mainstream. Maybe those people are afraid, but they need to get with the program because it’s going to happen.”