Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

I Am Michael

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

I Am Michael

Article excerpt

(2015)

Directed by Justin Kelly

I Am Michael is based on the true life story of Michael Glatze, a former gay activist who denounced homosexuality and became a Christian minister. While working for XY Magazine, Glatze met Benjie Nycum and they became lovers for about ten years. They co-founded their own magazine, Young Gay America Magazine, and co-authored a book on gay life. When Glatze experienced some heart palpitations, he worried that he would die of the same disease that caused his father's death when he was young. At this point he no longer identified himself as gay and joined the Church of Latter Day Saints. Soon he moved on to form his own conservative Christian church, denouncing homosexuality. (In the movie he tells a young man from the congregation that he does not have to be gay.) Eventually he married Rebekah. They currently live in La Grange, Wyoming.

It's easy to understand why James Franco would be interested in playing the role of a man who goes from being gay and an advocate for gay rights to a man who claims not to be gay and who denounces homosexuality. That's quite a flip. But, the interesting question is, why would anyone want to make a movie about this man in the first place? If the film is accurate, Glatze comes across as a mean-spirited, dishonest, narcissistic jerk. He is hurtful to others, especially his former boyfriend, Nycum. He regularly claims that all he wants to do is to help people, but instead of helping others he continues to seek the limelight in terms of his sexual orientation - I'm gay, I'm no longer gay. We don't know what to make of his assertions about his sexuality and one man's claims do not seem to be adequate grounds for making any claims about sexual orientation in general. …

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