Inside a Rainbow Family - House of Montage
Dyllón is invited to join the House of Montage for dinner. He learns how this Rainbow Family started and how important it has been for its members to have a bond like this in their lives.
- Hi, how are you?
- I'm Malita, nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you, Malita.
- Hi, I'm Siobhan.
- I'm gonna hug you.
Listen, I'm from the South.
Rainbow families, like the house of Montage,
structure themselves like any traditional family.
There's the mother, father, and the kids,
who relate to each other like sisters and brothers.
So how is everybody in here related?
How did this family come to be?
- In 2004 we decided we would start the house in Montage.
Started out with about, three or four kids?
- Three or four.
- And then in due time we finally ended up with about
40 at one point.
Some have come and some have gone,
but it was just a need.
There was so many people out here
that needed that guidance.
Just a need, just having somewhere to go
that you know you feel safe.
- [Dyllon] The idea of a chosen family who form a house
is something I've recently learned a lot about.
I play a character on a show called Pose
that grows up in a house that's very similar,
where, you know, Ricky was living on the streets.
Interestingly, y'all met in a house,
my character meets this person, they fall in love,
and then he brings him into a house.
Pose portrays a long tradition within queer culture,
that continues today,
where mostly black and Latinx young people,
who've been ostracized from their own home,
join a house and compete in balls, or runway competitions,
house against house, for trophies,
and serious bragging rights.
While the scene is a little different down here,
what is the same is the house they are in
becomes their family,
in every sense of the word.
And so, is your house, you called it a lesbian house,
is it exclusively lesbian?
- We're open to anybody.
Like, one thing about us is that
if you need us we're there.
We catch a lot of 'em,
because most of 'em that come around
with one of our other kids and never leave.
We had one that came and ate Thanksgiving dinner
and was like a stray cat, like, still here.
- Just kept coming back!
- And still here!
- We just open our doors, like, to whomever.
- So you've, literally, saved people's lives.
- I guess.
- She saved your life, tell me about it.
- My mom definitely didn't accept it.
- [Dyllon] Didn't accept what?
- My lifestyle, or the gay lifestyle period.
So, that's something we're actually
still battling with today.
In college, that's were I came across Malita and Tanin,
and, um, they took me in at a time
when I really didn't have any family,
you know what I'm saying?
'Cause I didn't have any support from my mom,
or anybody else.
And they just always provided a house if I needed it,
a bed if I needed it, a meal if I needed it.
And I always treated them as parental figures,
you know what I'm saying?
So if it weren't for them, I don't know where I'd be.
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