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 have not forgotten about Sam. I look down every time i see her. She probably thinks i am scared of her or something but really, i am scared that she won't like me back. Every day, I daydream of being with her. I dream that a year from now, i will send this message:
I feel that this past week has been a blur. I have been so out of it lately. Am I tired? Sick? Or do i have crippling depression knowing that no one knows who i truly am. Sometimes, i don't even know who i am.
I told one person that I am bisexual and already, it is backfiring. No, he hasn't told anyone but he almost talked about it in front of my other friend who is has proved himself untrustworthy on a number of occasions.
She pulls me out into the hall outside of the cafeteria.
“Do you like me?” she asks
I dart my head left and right while blushing uncontrollably. Partly because the love of my life just talked to me, but also because i was embarrassed “Shhh!”
She stares at me, confused.
“Okay,” i start to whisper to her “I have a killer crush on you,” this makes her blush.
“So, you are gay too?” she whispers smiling
I don't know what to make of the situation. It is like all of my secrets are pouring out.
I don’t think I mentioned this in my last journal entry, but I’m homeschooled. I’m part of a local group of homeschoolers, and tonight the teens of the group were supposed to go roller skating, but it got cancelled because not enough people were interested in going. So, I thought I’d make another journal entry.
Hey again. It's Jazzy again. I just wanted to say that I have a Youtube channel for my disease. I doubt that any of you know what my disease is like. It affects millions of people. You just don't know. I'm having surgery on May 10th. I wish more people would help our disease just like cancer. We hurt too and we suffer. So please support people with my disease.
Go to www.ccfa.org and visit my page on Youtube. I think it's www.youtube.com/BattleWithUC
As promised this time I want to write about Dalton, and of my brothers he's really my boyfriend. This one isn't going to be fun for me to write.
When third grade started Chase and I were in separate classes because everything was done my last name. A-L and M-Z was the dividing point I think? We never saw each other except for on the bus and at home, but that helped us have our own friends.
The playground looks broken in
December's plastic moonlight.
The basketballs have turned
to orange ghosts on the court
and the purple clouds above
resemble one-eyed teddy bears, smoking cigars.
You hold my hand between zombie oak trees
and stutter through a Michael Jackson song.
"Ben, the two of us.." you whisper,
then press your lips against mine.
It's surreal but I swallow your laughter
and stick my hand inside your jacket,
making you gasp as I trace
your shy muscles.
Boy, I want to scare off all
the bad memories that still
linger in this park;
the jump ropes and