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James Franco Reveals First Look at ‘Ex-Gay’ Activist Role


James Franco played the younger lover of San Francisco city supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk in the 2008 film Milk. Now, in the upcoming film Michael, the actor will take on the very different role of Michael Glatze, who went from founding a gay magazine to becoming associated with the “ex-gay” movement, which seeks to turn gay people straight. He now lives in Wyoming where he is married to a woman and serves as a church pastor.

This week, Franco shared the first photo of himself in character as Glatze on his popular Instagram account:

The film, which will be the feature debut of writer/director Justin Kelly, draws its inspirations from a 2011 New York Times article by Benoit Denizet-Lewis titled “My Ex-Gay Friend.” Denizet-Lewis and Glatze had worked together at XY, a San Francisco-based magazine for young gay men, 12 years earlier and the article tracks both their history and attempt to reconnect.

“I don’t see people as gay anymore,” Glatze told the author in 2011. “God creates us heterosexual. We may get other ideas in our head about what we are, and I certainly did, but that doesn’t mean they’re the truth.”

Franco also posted a selfie with his “new lover” Zachary Quinto (AKA Spock in the Star Trek reboot movies), who will co-star as Glatze’s boyfriend in the film:

[Photo via Instagram]

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