While the rest of the world has been cheering on gay marriage rights with red and pink, Expedia has been making a bold statement all along, releasing moving films like the "Find Your Understanding," about a man named Artie Goldstein's journey to acceptance about his daughter Jill's marriage to another woman, Nikki Weiss. The film, created out of 180 L.A. and directed by Eliot Rausch of Uber Content, recently earned the nod from Ad Age readers as the biggest tear-jerker of the year, to be honored at the Viral Video Awards on April 16th during the Ad Age Digital Conference in New York City. But its achievements go way beyond topping lists. Nikki Weiss-Goldstein this week posted the following message on Facebook, about the film's role in helping to secure her rights as parent to her own son Adler, whom she was forced to adopt because she and her spouse Jill were not married under the law.
"Unfortunately because we don't have federal rights, I have to adopt my own son," said Nikki. "I don't want to be challenged on being his parent." The interview with the social worker didn't exactly start out pleasantly, "with me being fingerprinted and her asking a lot of questions about our relationship, when we've known each other since we were children," Nikki said. " Then she asked us how our family felt about our relationship. I think Expedia had just come out a week before. We looked at each other, played it for her and she was just in tears. I don't think there were any more questions after that."
Turns out, both Nikki and Jill Weiss-Goldstein are from the ad world. Nikki reps directors out her own company, Nikki Weiss & Co., while Jill is a copywriter who's worked at agencies like Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Y&R. But they made their way onto the spot via reality TV. Both had appeared on Showtime's series "The Real L Word," which documented their road to marriage. "We were very apprehensive to do it, but going through the process of me asking Jill's father for her hand in marriage, Jill and I thought, maybe we should do this, maybe it will help partners struggling with their children. So we did, and from then, our life became public. We chose not to do season two because we did not want to be reality TV stars."
But then Expedia came calling. A friend had hooked the pair up with a casting agent on the job, looking for a gay couple to tell their wedding tale. "We felt that we had already told our story, but the more interesting story was my father-in-law," said Nikki. "So, if they're open to that, we're happy to chat." They were, so "we called Dad and asked him how he felt about being vulnerable and honest about his feelings about when I asked for Jill's hand. It didn't even take him a minute. He said, 'It's important and I want to do that for you.'"
Mr. Goldstein's revelations have had significant impact, and Nikki will be adopting Adler on April 17th. "But it's really bittersweet for me," she said. "Everybody might see it as a celebration, but I just see having to do it as an insult."
Also bittersweet is the fact that Mr. Goldstein won't be there to join in his family's next landmark moment. "The film in the end turned out to be an amazing love letter from my father-in-law, who passed away in January," said Nikki. "He left such a legacy."