“Stained Glass Rainbows”
Bogus, Bogus, Bogus
I watch a lot of LGBT movies and it is not often that one catches me and wakes me up. I think that because the market is now so flooded with our films that it is not common to see something new, fresh and exciting. “Stained Glass Rainbows” is just that—new, fresh and exciting and very, very important. It is important because it seems to want us to believe that ex-gay therapy really works. Not only does it not work but it has been declared illegal in several of out states.
I know that many of gay brothers and sisters have a great deal of trouble with religion and just cannot seem to find their place at the religion table. We have seen so many changes within our community lately and there have indeed been some in the world of religion but I think that the main problem is that if we want a place to sit, we must go after it. This is not always so easy and in my own life I have had my share of trouble. However, unlike the people in this film who are Christians. I am Jewish (but believe that did not make it any easier). I learned something a long time ago and I live by it. No one is going to come and take you by the hand and lead you to a place where you are afraid to go. You have to do it for yourself. We tend to fear what we do not know and for whatever reasons, many people are afraid of gay people. If we want to feel included, we have to show the world that we are just like everyone else except perhaps who we choose to have sex with. That should not be a problem however as there are some men who only like to have sex with say, redheaded, women—that is his choice just as it is my choice to sleep with men. Then there is that verse in the book of Leviticus and it is so easy to explain. I am just amazed that people do not explain that to others. Man cannot lie with man the way he does with a woman—the plumbing is different and it just does not work that way. But that is only one aspect of religion and we simply need to have our voices heard and let the churches, temples and mosques know that we want to be a part of them. It sounds easy and it is easy. That is what you will see in “Stained Glass Rainbows”. But this only works if you are no longer gay.
The film uses the slugline, “where the LGBT world and Christianity collide”. Yes, they collide and the result is often disaster especially as long as their are people telling us that we can be cured. Granted the relationship between sexuality and religion is difficult and controversial but there does not have to be a collision between the two. Rather we should be looking for harmony instead of fighting over issues, many of which we have no control over. This wonderful new documentary written, directed and produced by Kent C. Williamson looks at the challenges we face in religion and to put it in his words, “…the long-awaited, much needed contribution addressing the challenge to speak truth in love without judgment and condemnation, but with understanding, compassion and care”. Those ideals of understanding, compassion and care need to be reciprocal and come from both sides. He has also wasted my time and if I have my way, he will waste no one else’s.
We should not have to ask the question of can gays be Christian and whether homosexuality is a sin. We should not have to worry about the debate about nature and nurture. Families and churches should be coming together instead of tearing themselves apart and by watching this film, I believe that we can see how this needs to be done. The film beautifully brings together those from the left, the right and the middle and shows us that dialogue is the best possible tool. The conversations we hear and see in this film are not heated, they are dialogues of people wanting acceptance and change. More so these are people looking for God in their lives.
However, the truth is that the split between the two factions seems to grow wider everyday and both sides are responsible for this. Williamson went to people on both sides and interviewed them thus giving balanced views. He spoke with gay clergy, a conservative theologian, the notorious and infamous Westboro Baptist Church, ex-gays and lesbians, gay rockers and those who minister to our community. I was really surprised to see how close the two sides really are once we take away the rhetoric, the name-calling and the desire to be separate. The people and the voices that we hear are real—nothing was staged and we see that there can be a dialogue but only if both sides work on it. What the film does more than anything else is it encourages us to have a dialogue (or several). Aiding that split are the ex-gay ministries who actually believe win themselves.
The film takes no sides directly even though it seems to have a good number of ex-gays in it. Nonetheless I believe that watching this film and listening carefully to what is said can be step in closing the gap and annihilating ex-gay ministries and the sooner the better. This is an embarrassment of a film,