In the first episode of BBC1's newest
scientific series titled The Making Of Me, producers look at
what makes a person gay – is it nature or nurture? Handsome and
successful British actor John Barrowman tries to untangle the mystery
by submitting his own sexuality to a barrage of tests. Along the way
the documentary talks to some fascinating people.
Barrowman is convinced he has always
been gay and is willing to put that theory to the test. In American
cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, Barrowman submits to a series of
tests to find the answer. Is it a question of genetics? Or do
events in the womb affect sexuality?
Beyond why, the film also delves into
the lives of gay people. Barrowman's own life and family are
examined in close detail.
Another family featured in the
documentary is that of Jody Huckaby, the executive director of
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
Oprah Winfrey was first to feature the
Huckaby family and their amazing story on her show. Out of eight
siblings, four of the five boys slowly came out over a six year
period. Jason first announced he was gay in a letter to his parents
in 1985, while studying to be a Catholic priest. Another brother
would come out a couple years later, then Jody.
Jody told On Top Magazine of his
coming out: “I knew I was gay at an early age. I also knew it was
a bad thing, affirmed by my faith and family.”
Despite being the third son to come
out, his mother still believed he “needed fixing” and suggested
prayer and finding Jesus Christ. “It was a big challenge for my
family. It took a lot of education. Like many families they moved
from tolerance, to acceptance, then finally celebration.”
When the fourth brother stepped forward
two years later, his mother was more relieved than anything else.
“She was more concerned that he was about to announce that he had
joined the military. Being gay she could handle.”
Jody Huckaby says he asked family
members to participate because ultimately the film touched on issues
they all had struggled with for a long time. “What I really liked
about the film, and this resonates with PFLAG's mission, is how it
tackled the issues of coming out – a family's coming out process,
and the role of straight people helping gay people come out.”
Getting back to the question at hand -
is homosexuality the product of nature or does nurture have a part to
play - Jody says, “We have not seen the final product yet. But I
think John was leaning more towards nature.”
The Making Of Me with John
Barrowman will be broadcast in the UK on July 24th. A US
date has not been announced.
Photo credit: Jason Huckaby