This evening I watched the movie Eyes Wide Open. This is the third gay themed movie I've seen in Hebrew with English surtitles. This 2009 movie was filmed in Israel and is a touching story of two Orthodox Jewish men who fall in love and the enormous spiritual and emotional turmoil it causes in their lives, their families lives, and their community.
The following description is from IMDb: Aaron (Shtrauss), a respected butcher and a family man in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem, leads a conservative life of community devotion and spiritual dedication. Aaron's life undergoes a series of emotional changes following the arrival of a young apprentice (Danker) to his shop. Consumed with lust, the handsome "Yeshiva" student irreversibly transforms the intricate beliefs in the once-devoted butcher's life - leading Aaron to question his relationships with his wife, children, community, and God.
So many parallels to the situation of gay Mormons! Everything from religious and cultural rituals that are still important anchors in their lives to religious clothing, family issues, and religious leaders who act as enforcers for the community. Very powerful. Just another reminder that Mormons are only one of many cultures that are facing a significant challenge to their beliefs as more gay people are willing to stand up and be true to themselves.
I loved the part where Aaron is challenged by his rabbi about his actions and can only explain them by saying, "I was dead, and now I'm alive." Aaron like many of us is faced with the very real and excruciating challenge of being true to himself while trying to minimize the pain it will inevitably cause his wife and family.
I love Israel. I've traveled there several times and each time I've grown more respectful and enthralled with the wonderful people of that country, both Jews and Arabs. Expanding love on both sides can only help build trust, respect, and peace. I believe this is also a parallel to orthodox Christianity's war with homosexuals. Love on both sides is the answer.