25 June 2012

Movie Review: This is What Love in Action Looks Like

Now if you've watched But I'm a Cheerleader or you've read Straight to Jesus, you may be familiar with the "ex gay movement" and their Twelve Step/Christian Monastic Asceticism method of "treating homosexuality." The stories in Straight to Jesus are compelling and personal and I actually could feel the pain, torment and suffering of the people that Erzen interviewed. However, the book ended without what I would consider to be satisfactory resolution.

Well, This is What Love In Act Looks Like is. It provides a resolution to the a story of Zach Stark whose evangelical Christian parents sent off to a "Christian camp" -- that he discovers days before going is actually a camp to treat his homosexuality based evangelical concepts. He posts the pamphlets and rules and regs of the camp on his blog and asks his friends on his blog or on his myspace for help.

His friends decide to get into action and they protest in front of the nondescript compound in a suburban area of Memphis, Tennessee. This small action turns national attention on the ex-gay movement and most of it was not positive. Ex-gay ministries have since the 1970s been much an "adult" thing especially, as Erzen demonstrates in her book, because of the Twelve Step/Christian Monastic Asceticism thrust of the "ministry".

I didn't know what I was going to be watching when the movie went on but I'm glad I had the opportunity to watch. I don't recall reading anything about this story in the newspapers or on the listservs. But it had a significant impact on the national debate regarding gay teens in the U.S. The documentary was done and did not seem to be overly polemical -- and at the end we learn that most of the ex-gay movement people refused to be interviewed which explains why their side is most presented in their other interviews to there-local and national media during the actual drama.

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