When then BYU film student Brad Barber had to choose a topic for his senior project, he decided to go home for the Christmas break; there he filmed his own family, which includes his parents, his siblings–and his gay brother Troy. The result is Troy through a Window, a feature-length documentary exploring the dynamics of an LDS family where a model son, Eagle Scout, and returned missionary, also happens to be gay.
“On the day Troy came out as a gay man, it was as if a window had dropped through our household” says Barber, “placing Troy on one side, siblings and parents on the other. We could see through that window–we were still in the same home–but some effort had to be made reach through it.”
One of the most interesting aspects of this movie is the fact that the filmmaker had such intimate access to his subjects. “This is an extremely personal film,” says Barber. “I’d say we are a little nervous [about the release]; it’s not easy to feel at ease pouring out your soul in front of a camera and an audience of strangers.”
“My views [on homosexuality] have been changing for the last nine years ever since Troy told us he was gay,” says Barber. “I met a lot of people who really impressed me in terms of their ability to listen, show respect, and try to understand gays and lesbians in a Christlike way.”
Barber hopes the film will “open up some meaningful and much needed dialogue between gays and lesbians and their families.” “So far, I have gotten warm responses from both camps,” he says.
Brad says his BYU advisers were very supportive of the project. Brad’s brother Troy currently lives with his partner in Oakland, California.