Filmmaker Christin Baker has done it again. Following the success of her films Season of Love, I Hate New Year’s, and Christmas at the Ranch, Baker has created and produced the fourth queer holiday rom-com in four years to represent the LGBTQ+ community: Merry & Gay.
But Merry & Gay is far from a repeat performance. While the film has an upbeat, holiday soundtrack similar to some of her other films, Merry & Gay stands out because it will be featured on the newly announced, queer streaming network DIVABoxOffice.tv, where Baker is president & CEO. And unlike Baker’s other movies, Merry & Gay features the first non-binary character in a holiday rom-com.
Baker was really excited to feature Andi René Christensen (Bel-Air, Hacks) in the film, and was very proud of how their non-binary identity was portrayed. “I didn’t want to have Andi come out as non-binary. I just wanted it to be that’s who they were and there was no need to make a big to-do about it,” says Baker. “Everyone just accepted it and moved on [because] we are trying to project the world that we want, not the world that we have.”
Christensen plays Sam, a bartender whose childhood friend and high school sweetheart Becca Winters (Dia Frampton) is returning to their hometown in Tennessee after a few years in New York City, where she was the lead in a popular Broadway musical. Ecstatic, but well-meaning, Becca’s meddling mother joins forces with Sam’s mom to reunite Becca and Sam, who both end up working on the town’s annual Christmas pageant.
On December 1, Merry & Gay will be available to rent or buy without a subscription on DivaBoxOffice.TV, which also launches on December 1. For $6.99 a month or $59.99 a year, DivaBoxOffice.TV will have over 100 pieces of queer and lesbian content, including fan favorites like I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen and some international films.
“We have about the forty international short films that haven’t really been seen yet that we just licensed from a European distributor,” says Baker. “I’m really excited to make it a little bit more global than I have with things in the past.”
On where Baker wants to take DivaBoxOffice.TV in the future, she says she is “committed to raising investor money to be able to have four pieces of original content that launch on the Diva site per year.”
And she certainly hopes that will include more queer holiday rom-coms. Right now, she’s hoping to do a film called Redneck Christmas, which is based on the true story of her bringing her girlfriends and friends to meet her very large Southern family.
“It’s sort of this love letter to the red flyover states and really shows a different view than we are used to because my family has been very accepting and close to my friends and my girlfriends that I’ve brought home,” says Baker. “I wanted to take that and shed light on the fact that there are also some very loving southern conservative families.”
This unique perspective is part of what is so great about Baker and her films – even though she has worked on many queer holiday rom-coms, they all have a different spin on them. Season of Love, for example, was a queer take on Love, Actually, and has turned into one of my favorite holiday films.
But at the end of the day, there’s one thing that brings these queer holiday rom-coms together. They will always make you feel a little more merry and gay.