I Am Michael (2015)

The story of Michael Glatze, a former gay rights activist that turned his back on homosexuality to become a Christian Pastor.

James Franco stars as Glatze in one of the most interesting roles I’ve ever seen him in, also staring Zachary Quinto as Glatze’s partner. I found the film randomly whilst looking for something to watch on Netflix and was surprised by how touching I found it.

The story is a sad yet interesting one.

Franco did a wonderful job of giving us a insight into a confusing struggle inside of Glatze. Whilst there is always a barrier, one I don’t think even Glatze himself could explain away, you do get to see this struggle as bare as a conservative young man would allow it to be.

Such a roller-coaster of a story from being a gay activist, madly in love with his partner Bennett and doing his best to bring the faces of the gay youth to the forefront of American people’s minds to the absolute opposite, renouncing his sexuality and finding God. He see’s his sexuality as a test from God, going as far as calling his three lovers part of the Holy Trinity.

He struggles to fit into either world and after turning his back on one does his best to fit into the other. In the end he ends up engaged to Rebekah (Emily Roberts) and is about to become a pastor. Bennett (Quinto) has also moved on but there is that sad, lingering feeling that Michael has walked away from his soul mate and left both of their lives empty.

I loved the film. I think, from what I’ve heard from friends in America about homosexuality and the church, that it is a discussion that needs to be had. Can the LGBT community live within religion, for Michael he couldn’t and that is where the sadness lies. He truly believes in God, in that if he doesn’t do as conservative Christians tell him then he won’t be able to see his parents in heaven again. There was a point that he said something along the lines of why would God not want you to find love when talking to young gay people and I found it sad that he moved away from that belief because whilst I’m not religious myself that is my take on any greater Beings, if they truly put us in this multiverse to live true and happy lives then why would they ever put limits on who we can and can’t love. Its sad to see someone go from being so open minded to so scared.

That was the overwhelmingly sad story I took from the film. How far people will go when they are scared. Michael’s fear of dying led him to believe his natural feelings were leading him down a path that would stop him ever seeing his mum and dad again and instead of being there for him the church encouraged that fear.

One thought on “I Am Michael (2015)”

  1. The real Michael Glatze quit his church about 2 years ago, changed his name to “Michael Elliott”, and moved to San Francisco (reportedly at walking distance to gay bars). He posted a rant against Christians who believed in the Rapture/dispensationalism then disappeared from the internet.

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