By David-Elijah Nahmod, November 2015 Web Exclusive.
So what’s a “gusband”?
The word, a combination of gay and husband, according to filmmaker Alicia J. Rose, is a gay man with whom you have an intimate and loving, albeit platonic, relationship.
In her sometimes-funny-sometimes-serious new web series, Rose explores the deep emotional ties that bind a 40-year-old woman in Portland, Ore., to her gusband.
“Gusbands are friends with whom you share intimate relationships,” Rose tells Echo. “It’s not sexual, but it’s personal. It’s a platonic romantic relationship.”
The first episode of “The Benefits of Gusbandry,” opens at the 40th birthday party of Jackie Rosenblum (Brooke Totman).
This “bring your own hunk party” is not going so well. Then handsome, soft-spoken and sensitive River Manning (Kurt Conroyd), shows up at the celebration. It seems that he might he be the man of Jackie’s dreams, until Jackie catches River during an “intimate” moment with her creepy ex.
Jackie may not have met her new boyfriend, but, in River she has met a soulmate. As season 1 continues, viewers will get a peek inside the deep and intense, yet non-sexual, love Jackie and River come to share.
“It’s drawn from my own life, but it’s not a documentary,” Rose said. “It’s funny and entertaining. It’s drawn from all the crazy ass things that happened between me and my gusbands.”
According to Rose, having a gusband is not the exclusive province of straight women. Straight men, gay men and even lesbians have all been known to have gusbands.
“It’s a new time,” Rose said, pointing to our post-marriage equality world in which people, in general, are becoming more open minded. “I’m glad that my primary gusband is so important to me.”
The series, Rose feels, speaks to our rapidly evolving society.
“Now everyone can do whatever they want, as it always should have been,” she said. “The spectrum is wide.”
“The Benefits of Gusbandry” screened before an audience at the Portland Film Festival Sept. 4.
“The reaction has been good,” Rose said. “What I love about people’s reactions to it is how it resonates with them.”
While the first episode, “40 & Sporty,” is available for viewing via YouTube, and additional episodes are being produced with more on the horizon, Rose points out that raising the series’ production budget and finding an audience for the final product is challenging.