Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Thick and Thin for Binational Couples: Argentinean-Born Filmmaker Sebastian Cordoba Is Bringing the Plight of Binational Same-Sex Couples to the Big Screen with a Powerful New Documentary

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Thick and Thin for Binational Couples: Argentinean-Born Filmmaker Sebastian Cordoba Is Bringing the Plight of Binational Same-Sex Couples to the Big Screen with a Powerful New Documentary

Article excerpt

Argentinean-born filmmaker Sebastian Cordoba knows the pain of being an immigrant with no rights. In 1997 he fell in love with an American man while living in New York. But with Cordoba's uncertain immigration status, the couple lived with the constant fear that he would be sent home. Finally, in 2000, they just gave up.

"It's a feeling of total desperation," says the 36-year-old Cordoba. "My partner and I really tried to tackle the issue [of staying in the same country], and we found no way out. It was one of the things that caused the relationship to end."

After their breakup, Cordoba, at that time a journalism graduate student at New York's Hunter College, changed course to earn a masters degree in documentary production. His first film was Living Proof: A Documentary About Gay Teenage Suicide Survivors. But he never forgot the pain and uncertainty he felt in that relationship. He obtained a work visa to remain in the United States as a documentary producer and began working on Through Thick and Thin, a powerful film about the plight of binational same-sex couples living in the United States.

"I decided I need to put a human face to the issue," Cordoba says, noting that there are an estimated 35,000 binational gay couples in the United States. "Long-term gay relationships or even marriages don't come with any type of immigration benefit." Because immigration is determined by federal--not state--law, a Massachusetts same-sex marriage, unlike a heterosexual marriage in any U. …

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