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Home is You: Director’s Thoughts

Yaelle Shwed, a lesbian French Jew, immigrated to Israel, came out of the closet and got married to her girlfriend Aya. Together they created the documentary “Home is You”, about Yaelle’s coming out. Here’s the story from Yaelle’s perspective.

homehmome_cWe didn’t dream of doing this movie. It just happened. It came out. First we did a short movie about our story. It was aimed to help parents get a better understanding about what their children are going through.The camera was always with us since we interviewed spontaneously people around us about their “coming out”, not necessarily on a sexual orientation level.

In 2007, I immigrated to Israel and left France. I got a new identity. I became Israeli. There I met Aya, my first female partner, I got a new sexual identity. I came out of the closet. My parents rejected me. My home left me.

The name of the movie is taken from one of Aya’s songs: “Home is you, Home is me” . A revelation of the child inside each and every one of us.

As two young women from different cultures, different languages and different personalities, we were always asking ourselves, in an atmosphere of naive and romantic love, where is home?

When Aya did her Coming out she didn’t have to deal with this issue of acceptance as much as I did . Even if it was hard for them, her parents have always been there for her. She always felt free and didn’t know how to liberate me from my own jail. It brought a lot of chaos into our relationship. I experienced depression, we almost broke up.

After a lot of attempts to get my parents to accept me with Aya as a couple, I started building my own new home, my new identity. I changed my family name. I erased the name I was born with and took Aya’s family name. I accepted to marry Aya officially in Toronto since it was important for her. On our wedding day I was inspired by Jack Layton last words:

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. All my very best,
Jack Layton”

After that important step, during our honeymoon in Burning Man in Nevada, USA, in the middle of all this freedom, I entered a very dark zone for the first time in my life.

I started to be very confused about my identity and suffered from a post-wedding depression. I wanted to start taking psychiatric pills to see some light. I thought my dad, being a psychiatrist, would jump in a plane to help me. It didn’t happen.

I wanted to talk about taboos such as same-sex wedding, post-wedding depression, the use of psychiatric pills, children being rejected by their parents, in a very simple and intimate way.

Through this film I express my true belief in a happier place to live where we should all have equal rights and be able to be free and to marry who we want, disregarding religion, age, color or sex.

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