Reviewed by Mayank Keshaviah
“What kind of God teaches people to hate their own flesh and blood?” This is the question that writer/performer Ramy El-Etreby struggles with in the wake of his public outing by The L.A. Times. It happened after El-Etreby was cast as a gay Muslim in a play: interviewed about the role, he revealed that he himself was both gay and Muslim. As homosexuality is haram (forbidden) in Islam, at least according to El-Etreby’s devoutly religious parents, this personal revelation sent shockwaves through his family and his Muslim community in Southern California.
Growing up in Orange County as the son of Egyptian immigrants, El-Etreby “numbs gay” throughout his childhood and even into his college years. After...