The Front, a fully female-operated media company, has released the first episode of their debut web series, “New Deep South,” offering an intimate look into the complex lives of queer youth in America.
A genuine exploration of a topic so often exploited in mainstream media today, The Front dives into these important stories from an angle that makes its subjects seem human, never spectacle. As viewers, we’re warmly invited into these small pockets of the Deep South and shown how intimate relationships are fostered and in the digital era.
The series’ premiere installment, “Instababy,” follows a young, queer couple—Toni and Keeta—that first connected on Instagram in Jackson, Mississippi. Soon into their relationship, the two decided on expanding their family and took to social media to figure out how they could arrange adoption in a state where same-sex adoption is still illegal. As noted by The Front, the question for a pair like this is never “Can we?” but “How do we?”
Co-creators Rosie Haber and Lauren Cioffi developed this series after closely exploring Cioffi’s Mississippi native. “We went on an adventure together and found something that was different than what we expected,” Haber said. “The deeper we delved into the stories we found, we found other stories. So from the Montage storyline we found the ‘Instababy’ story. We found Toni and Keeta because we were out at a club trying to interview folks in the Rainbow Families. It was kind of like being a detective and unraveling a puzzle and one piece would lead us to the next.”
The timely release of “Instababy” coincides with the week of the Mississippi Same-Sex Adoption Ban hearing in federal court. Tomorrow, arguments on the motion for a preliminary injunction and on the defendants’ motion to dismiss will be heard—a conversation that will greatly affect a couple like Toni and Keeta.
Watch the series premiere of “New Deep South,” below: