In an episode of ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’, a waiter harasses gay parents while hidden cameras catch reactions of people in a restaurant. For the most part, patrons noticed the homophobic remarks but no one came to the aid of the gay families. Several scenes were shot in which people didn’t get involved. The gay families were left to fend for themselves.
We decided to put America’s comfort level with gay parents to the test and set out for a diner in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, N.Y., to find out. We rigged the restaurant with hidden cameras and hired actors Traci Hovel and Lisa Birnbaum to play our lesbian couple. Marina March, 10, and Anthony Ippolito, 9, played their two children. Brian Sheridan played our homophobic waiter. Members of COLAGE.org, an organization by and for people with LGBTQ parents, joined us in the control room.