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SXSW 2022: Mama Bears documentary announces press conference at Texas State Capitol

production still from Mama Bears
Mama Bears will be holding a press conference during SXSW. Pic credit: Mama Bears

Ahead of its SXSW 2022 premiere, Mama Bears announced a press conference at the Texas State Capitol to defend trans youth from “discriminatory, harmful, and unconstitutional attacks.”

This is following the recent ruling by Governor Greg Abbott which called for the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents who provide gender-affirming surgeries to their trans youth.

The LGBTQ+ community and allies have called the ruling unjust. After heavy backlash, it has been reported that investigations of parents with transgender children for possible child abuse were temporarily halted across Texas due to accusations of the ruling improperly violating constitutional rights.

Details about the Mama Bears press conference

On Monday, March 14 at 12:00 PM, CST, ACLU-TX, Equality Texas, GLAAD, HRC, TENT and the producers of the documentary Mama Bears will be hosting a press event to denounce Gov. Abbott’s recent directive against trans youth. It is open to all and will take place at the South Steps at the State Capitol Building.

The speaker list is filled with local representatives, spokespersons for the supporting organizations, those affiliated with the documentary, and more. Those expected to be in attendance include Texas Representative Jessica González, Texas Representative Erin Zwiener, GLAAD director Alex Schmider, Equality Texas Executive Director Ricardo Martinez, HRC State Director Rebecca Marques, Emmett Schelling from Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), Trans activists and Mama Bears participants Kimberly & Kai Shappley, Mama Bear Director Daresha Kyi, Free Mom Hugs Founder Sara Cunningham, and Mama Bears Founder Liz Dyer.

What is Mama Bears?

Mama Bears has its world premiere at SXSW this Monday at 3:00 PM CST. It will go on to screen multiple times at the festival, as well as online. Directed by Daresha Kyi, the documentary is an exploration into the journeys of two “mama bears,” Sara Cunningham and Kimberly Shappley, and Tammi Terrell Morris, a young lesbian.

Throughout the documentary, the two mothers go on a journey of acceptance and queer advocacy on the behalf of their respective LGBTQ+ children. The plot teases, “Although they may have grown up as fundamentalist, evangelical Christians, mama bears are willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to keep their children safe—even if it challenges their belief systems and rips their worlds apart.”

The documentary includes social media posts, home movies, photographs, interviews, and more to break down the complexity of their battle, especially in the midst of discriminatory legislation.

Mama Bears premieres at SXSW Film 3:00pm CST on March 13.

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