IN THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL SWAP YET, AN ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE
TEXAS MOTHER WHO BELIEVES GAYS ARE "DEPRAVED" TRADES PLACES
WITH A LIBERAL LESBIAN MOM, ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP"
Each week, from across the country, two families with very different values are chosen to take part in "Wife Swap." In a two-week challenge, the wives from the two families exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover what it's like to live a very different woman's life. It's a mind-blowing experiment that often changes their lives forever. This week, in "Boone Luffey/Gillespie," an ultra conservative, anti-gay mother of three from Texas swaps lives with a liberal lesbian mother from Arizona. "Wife Swap" airs WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Kristine Luffey (33) and her partner, Nicki Boone (30) have lived together for three years in a committed lesbian relationship. The couple shares a modest three-bedroom home in Arizona with Nicki's biological daughter, eight-year-old Elizabeth. Parenting responsibilities are shared equally, and Elizabeth's two mommies make a point of exposing her to diversity through their numerous gay and straight friends. Elizabeth has a TV in her room and is allowed to watch PG-13-rated movies. The women are politically liberal, and Nicki actively lobbies for gay rights. Both mothers work-Kristine as a hospital administrator and Nicki in a university business office. At home Kristine does most of the cleaning and yard work, while Nicki detests and avoids most chores. "Cooking" is a quaint euphemism for microwaving prepared food, which the family usually eats off paper plates. Kristine and Nicki believe you don't need money to enjoy yourself, and that laughter will get you through any situation.
Kristine travels to Texas and swaps places with 42-year-old Kris Gillespie, an anti-gay, African-American conservative Republican wife in an interracial marriage. Kris' husband is 47-year-old Brian Gillespie, and together the couple have three children: 16-year-old Michael, 14-year-old Jackson and 12-year-old Catherine, who is being raised in the traditional gender role of "The Princess." The Gillespies are die-hard supporters of all things Texan, especially George Bush. Kris, a stay-at-home mom, and Brian, a business consultant, proudly run what they call "a PG home," screening and withholding any music, movies, video games or books they deem inappropriate for their children, including the classic gay empowerment book, "Heather Has Two Mommies." The children must also constantly strive to meet what their mother proudly calls her "excellence" standard, including the formal table they must set for dinner, with china place settings designated by an instructional chart. Kris believes her "job" is to keep her husband happy with home cooking and pristine housekeeping. She enjoys what she refers to as the Gillespies' "privileged life." While Kris and Brian preach tolerance, Kris adamantly denounces gays as "depraved." The family philosophy is to work hard and succeed. According to Kris, "It's great to be a Gillespie."
In the first week of the swap, Kristine reveals her sexual identity to the Gillespies and chafes under their conservative views and stringent rules for cooking, cleaning and perfect table settings. Meanwhile, Kris Gillespie seethes at the gay lifestyle she's exposed to in Arizona, barely able to stomach it, or Nicki's micro-waved meals and liberal views.
In the second week of the swap, the women change the rules, turn the tables and let loose with their emotions. Kristine upends Brian's conservative order by taking him to dance at a gay bar, and allowing the Gillespie kids to have a rambunctious sleepover with their friends for the first time. Meanwhile, Kris and Nicki engage in a heated argument about gay marriage and gay rights, and Kris impresses young Elizabeth with special "princess for a day" treatment.
But the gloves really come off in the most explosive post-reunion discussion of the season, when one mother's positive feelings about the experience are shattered.