A new Netflix documentary short, “The Dads,” directed by Luchina Fisher and executive produced by Dwyane Wade, provides a unique perspective on the fight for trans rights in America through the lens of fatherhood. The 11-minute film follows five fathers of trans children who embark on a weekend fishing trip in Oklahoma alongside Dennis Shepard, father of Matthew Shepard, a victim of a 1998 hate crime that led to federal hate crime legislation.
The documentary aims to be a “love letter from these fathers to their trans and LGBTQ children.” The fathers, including Dennis Shepard, Stephen Chukumba, Frank Gonzales, Jose Trujillo, and Wayne Maines, share their experiences and bond over their shared love for their children. The film emphasizes the role fathers play in supporting and fighting for the rights of their LGBTQ+ children.
Dwyane Wade, executive producer of the documentary, expressed pride in joining the project, highlighting the film’s focus on the power of fathers supporting their LGBTQ+ children and breaking down barriers of prejudice. The documentary addresses the challenges faced by trans families, particularly when fathers are not fully supportive, and aims to contribute to the conversation surrounding unconditional love and acceptance for LGBTQ+ individuals.
The short film highlights intimate conversations among the fathers about their journeys and challenges, emphasizing the importance of fathers being allies to their trans and LGBTQ+ children. The Dads adds a poignant and personal dimension to the ongoing dialogue about trans rights and acceptance in society.