Mama Bears

Conservative, Christian beliefs have defined their entire lives, but now they’re championing their LGBTQ+ children. A mama bear's love is ferocious.

Mom with her child in a field next to a church
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
June 20, 2023
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
filmmaker Daresha Kyi

Daresha Kyi

Daresha creates both narrative and documentary film and television in Spanish and English. Her second feature, Mama Bears, is about how conservative, Christian mothers are transformed when they accept their LGBTQ children. Her short, Texas Strong, won two Webbys and an Emmy, and her first feature, Chavela, screened in over 40 countries. 

filmmaker Laura Tatham

Laura Tatham

Laura is a creative documentary producer working on the feature What We Carry, having most recently completed the feature Mama Bears and the short Black Beauty. In 2022 Laura was selected for DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40” list. She has been a fellow of the Film Independent Documentary Lab and the WIF/Sundance Institute Financing Intensive.

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The Film

Mama Bears explores how the lives of conservative, Christian mothers are utterly transformed when they decide to accept their LGBTQ+ children. Spread throughout the country but connected through private Facebook groups, they call one another “mama bears” because of the ferocity with which they fight for their children’s rights and those of the entire LGBTQ+ community. Although they grew up as fundamentalist, evangelical Christians praying for the souls of LGTBQ+ people, these mama bears are now willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to champion their children—even if it challenges their belief systems and rips apart their worlds. Along the way they struggle through grief, denial, anger, and deep depression. Mama Bears takes us inside their journey to becoming LGBTQ+ allies, following a few of the 8,000 dedicated moms across the United States who have connected at a complicated juncture to create a network of love and conviction.