The new film "I Am Michael" is based on a true story about Michael Glatze, who went from being a gay activist to an ex-gay evangelical Christian pastor (video below).
The film is based partly on a 2011 article about Glatze in The New York Times Magazine called, "My Ex-Gay Friend." Glatz told the magazine that his "spiritual awakening" happened after he had a series of heart palpitations in 2004.
He told Edge Media Network in 2007 that he was diagnosed with Celiac disease. "I was anemic, and my heart was palpitating," he said at the time. "And my Dad had died of a heart condition that was genetic, and I thought I had inherited that."
In a trailer for the movie, Glatze, played by actor James Franco, runs a magazine with his then-boyfriend called Young Gay America.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.
Franco (as Glatz) says later in the film's trailer that he blamed God for his parents' deaths, but has since had a change of heart.
"My whole life I thought the Bible was full of hate, it's not," he states, adding, "I just feel like something shook me, and woke me up."
Franco goes on to meet a woman, tells his male partner that he "needs to get away from this life" and declares that he is no longer gay.
However, in a Feb. 20 review of the film on the pro-gay website Skipping to the Piccolo, guest writer Jerry Reiter states that Glatze "is not ex-gay nor an evangelical pastor."
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:
Reiter alleges that Glatze "legally changed his last name and moved back to San Francisco, the gay capital where he used to publish sexy pre-twink teen magazines."
According to Reiter, Glatze wrote on a now-defunct blog under the last name "Elliott" that Christian evangelicals were "heretics," and ridiculed "the evangelical gospel." A search for the blog yielded no results.
Reiter said Glatze, who is now married, is okay with being called a bisexual:
But the former twink-turned-pastor is not ready to publicly come out either as an ex-evangelical or as queer. He avoids labels, though he said he is comfortable being called bisexual.
So far he remains in his (childless) marriage since the camera-friendly wedding in 2013. It’s hard to tell if the picturesque wedding helped sell Hollywood on making his movie...
Glatze told The Christian Post in 2014 that he was living in Wyoming with his wife, Rebekah, and was the pastor of a rural church. He and his wife also talked about the criticism they had received from the gay community.