Actor James Franco says his new film I Am Michael asks whether being gay is a choice “in a very healthy way.”

Franco plays “ex-gay” activist Michael Glatze in the film, which premiered Thursday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Glatze is the controversial publisher and former gay rights advocate who gained notoriety for publicly renouncing being gay in 2007, two years after he was featured in Time magazine as a gay rights activist.

Glatze and former boyfriend Benjie Nycum (played by out actor Zachary Quinto) in 2004 launched Young Gay America magazine (YGA Mag), a bimonthly magazine for LGBT youth which folded three years later. The pair, who met while working at XY magazine, also co-authored the book XY Survival Guide.

Franco told the AP that the film fosters discussion about sexuality and identity in a “very healthy way.”

“Is it nurture or nature and do we allow someone to make these decisions?” he said. “I think this movie touches on those issues in a really interesting way where it allows people to talk about it and fosters discussion in a very healthy way.”