By Jeff Walsh
As it starts, "A Jihad For Love" has a familiar feeling for anyone who's ever seen movies about issues of sexuality and spirituality. We learn that the only reference to homosexuality in the Qur'an is about Sodom and Gomorrah. And that, though not part of the Qur'an, several Hadith (sayings attributed directly to Muhammad) directly condemn homosexuality. So, we're in familiar ground here, in a debate that continues about how to rectify sexuality and spirituality.
From the beginning, if you interchanged the words Qur'an and Bible, it would seem to make a lot of the same arguments with which many Americans are familiar. But as the film plays on, the familiarity washes away. People are imprisoned. Their backs bearing the marks of 100 bloody lashes. They leave their home and wait as refugees seeking asylum from a country they love, families they miss, and a religion that is still an important and meaningful part of their lives.
Muslim filmmaker Parvez Sharma isn't out to poke holes in Islam, or quote scripture back and forth with scholars (in fact, every scholar in the movie without fail just says homosexuality is wrong). But he is clearly interested in showing the depth of purpose that many gay Muslims feel, and the disconnect that causes with their culture. Sharma is also showing many sides of Islam, but none resembling the Al Qaeda caricature we usually see.
By Jeff Walsh
I'm not an unbiased viewer of "Every Little Step," the new documentary about the Broadway show 'A Chorus Line.' It is my favorite Broadway show ever. It is one of the first Broadway shows I remember having an impact on me. The cast recording has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have never once applied for a job without singing 'Who am I anyway? Am I my resume?' I've been known to sing about getting plastic surgery on my 'tits and ass' in public at karaoke bars.
On top of all that, I am still friends with Jason Tam from the Chorus Line revival cast, who I met (of course) because he was in the show, so just seeing him on screen is delightful. He gets a lot of praise in other articles about this documentary, as his audition is prominently featured and simply amazing. He leaves the producers crying, and is hired on the spot. But I'm way too biased about how talented Jason is to say any more. You'll have to watch this film and find that out yourself.
By Jeff Walsh
"Outrage," a new documentary playing select cities beginning this weekend, is taking on the hypocrisy of anti-gay politicians who are also closeted homosexuals. In each case, there seems to be a direct correlation between the closet and their anti-gay voting records.
Unlike the trailer for the movie (embedded below), the movie names the people in closets of power, interviews their former sexual partners, talks about where they go out to meet people, and makes a strong case for the homosexuality the men, such as Senator Larry Craig, still deny to this day.
I suppose outing has become a generic word in the culture, so we should go back to explore its historic roots. In an age where Perez Hilton "outs" Neil Patrick Harris, it is important to know that outing in the political arena is not about playing a gotcha game for people who merely deny their sexuality but enjoy secret gay lives. It is about people who deny it and actually cause harm to every gay person who has to live with the laws they pass to prove the lies they tell themselves and others are real.
I've had an eventful past couple of weeks, I suppose. Guess whose last day of high school is May 8th!? MINE! And only Tuesday day is a full day. Monday is a half day, and Wednesday is like one class only. Graduation isn't until the week after next, but my last day of actual classes is the 8th. After that, there's only the AP English exam. And now I don't have to go into school until 10 a.m. because my dual enrollment class ended. It doesn't feel like this is actually happening to me, you know?
You may never read this, but I need you to know that I still love you with all my heart and soul. I feel my heart warm up and my stomach tingle with butterflies when I think about you. I cry when I remember all the times we fought and argued. I can't regret those times because they made us stronger. Even after all of those things, I still love you more than life itself.
I'm auditioning for Oliver! My mom found out that the local professional theatre is putting it on and auditions are really soon. All I have to do is learn one of the songs they provided and I could get the role of my dreams, the Artful Dodger! (Or the young female lead, the "rude yet flirtatious" Charlotte)
I've decided to go with Dodger's "Consider Yourself." My strength is belting, and the song is perfect for my range. I REALLY hope that I get the role. It would make my memories of this year much better. Plus, it could start me on the road to being the next Ethel Merman!
It's been way too long since I've been one here and I want to update things!
Last year I applied to a really good private school here, knowing that it was a long shot for me to get in. Really my mom did the applying but it was my friend Michael who made the suggestion. He goes there and his dad wrote a letter of recommendation for me. We also applied for financial aid, which we knew would also be a long shot.
We were told that the selections would be made in March, and we would hear by May 1st if I got in or not. It's been a tense wait!
This time I want to write about how I found out that Jake and Chase weren't exactly straight. My last journal was real tough to write, but I think this one will be easier.
Chase met Jake when third grade started and I think they were best friends from the moment they met. Jake was popular and outgoing, a great athlete and a good student, and a good person. We sat by each other on the school bus, and after school we were around each other when we could.
Until I remember that the universe is indifferent to the trivialities of mere mortals like myself. P.S: Buckle up. This is gonna be a long journal.
I came out of the closet to a friend, Robert. I almost chickened out, but he said “Bullshit, tell me what’s bothering you”. It was great! He said he didn’t care, and asked if I wanted to know some pick up lines. I asked him not to tell anybody, and he said he wouldn’t. Of course he asked some questions, like how do I know if I haven’t date anybody and who do I see myself marrying. Then he asked if I liked anybody, and before I said anything he guessed from my face that I do. He tried to guess a few names, and then I just told him Beth.