Have you seen the film TO KID OR NOT TO KID? Want to know what happens next?

By Maxine Trump 

To Kid or Not To KidIt was awesome this year to have Nina Steele (founder of this fantastic site) involved in our VIP film panel as we launched TO KID OR NOT TO KID our new film about living childfree. Being a Brit—but a white, married woman—it’s been incredibly important to me to represent not just other cultural backgrounds, but other journeys. I was lucky enough to film with Megan from Canada (now living in Wales) as she sought permanent birth control (sterilization). Megan experienced chronic side effects from hormonal birth control, and I’m sure we all have our own stories of birth control struggles. This Thursday, we’re going to re-interview Megan on Facebook Live (at 9pm GMT) for the first time since she updated us last autumn. Her journey has had some very unexpected twists since we last talked to her.

One thing I am aware of in making these films is the luxury of being able to make the choice to not have children. Yes, I had to battle my religion, and Western society’s pressures, but I can get access to contraception. And I live in New York, where abortion is legal if I need it. I wasn’t forced to marry a husband who could then force me have children at a young age.

I would have loved to include every voice in TO KID OR NOT TO KID: single people, LGBTQ, and every nationality and language from around the world. Did you know that’s over 6,500 languages! I was determined to get other perspectives out there, and I was lucky enough to be able to make a spin-off series called SHOULD WE KID OR NOT for PBS (like the BBC in America). In that series of short documentaries, I had the opportunity to bring people across the divide to discuss their reproductive decisions. I thank everyone who took part: the Mormon father of 5, the bisexual child-free young woman, the 50-year-old single child-less woman, the Jamaican, the LGTBQ participants, the Catholic, and the teenage Mum. It was an amazing experience and their conversations are engaging and enlightening.

There are so many societies I want filmmakers that come after me to reach. That’s why it’s so important that groups like Nina’s and Karen Malone Wright’s (The Not-Mom, in the USA) have a worldwide reach. I love Nina’s story about Cote D’Ivoire cultural attitudes changing. And how in India the population has reduced as women gain increased access to education. I love the Chinese and Mexican women who feature in TO KID OR NOT TO KID and share their stories. I am proud that in the UK we are working with doctors to get the film into schools, and that we have translated the film into 5 languages.

I have been over the moon at the responses people have sent me. From “this film has changed my life,” to this “cemented my decision to not have children.” That’s all I could wish for. People said they laughed and cried and totally related. Many have said they wanted more when the film was over. So this week I’m releasing a director’s commentary on the film, and deleted scenes, in a deluxe package. We are working hard on all of these new developments so filmmakers can watch the film, get deeper insight into my decisions, and feel fired up to tell their own stories. Can you imagine every country in the world with their own childfree film? Telling their own individual unique stories? Now that would be a dream come true.

Maxine (no relation) Trump | Director

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