Thursday, July 20, 2017

He Is Michael

Last Sunday, c3 and I watched “I Am Michael” over at Netflix. First off, I just have to hand it to James Franco for his inclusiveness! I can’t name any other straight actor who has played so many gay male roles. It almost seems like an advocacy for him (or a career-diffentiating move).

The film itself tries to present a non-judgemental view of Michael Glatze’s journey from gay rights to gay renunciation. It agonizingly details the process, the extenuating circumstances that surround it. For some part of it, his growing embrace of Christian religion I can relate to. I did try to turn back on being so Catholic-religious at a point in my life. But I had to be honest to myself and realize that believing was a real, natural part of me that couldn’t be denied.

And being gay is as much a part of that. But Michael, in the movie, eventually comes to the conclusion that it is just a construct, an idea that one can choose to accept or reject. But certainly, he labels that as unnatural.

I did detect, though, some judgment from the producers. The movie ended with that tentative, or even self-doubting, look on Michael’s face as he welcomed his first audience as a pastor of his own church. And you get to see how his countenance changes from being light and happy to grim and determined (in reference to a friend of mine. Hehehe. Inside joke). He became serious and sullen. Hence, as much as the producers claim that it was non-judgemental, I still felt that there was this undercurrent equivalent of either rolling eyes or a raised eyebrow.

I would have thought the real Michael would have seen that, too, and be totally livid. But as I researched further, it didn’t turn out that way:

It is an interesting watch for those with an open-enough mind to consider the idea of “ex-gayness”. If my memory serves me right, wasn’t there this TV reporter who flipped that way, too, previously? I wonder what his story is like. Oh sorry. I don’t even have to look far:

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