Boy Erased is a true story And a sad one.
Garrard Conley is conflicted and terrified about his sexuality. Growing up in a Missionary Baptist church in a small Arkansas town, the rules are strict and clear. Homosexuality is a sin, an addiction, and it can be cured.
The alternative, accepting who he is and living accordingly, is a sure ticket to hell. It would break his parents' hearts. He's an only child. They have high hopes for him.
Everything looks good on the outside. Garrard has a nice girlfriend who goes to their church. They have been dating for quite a while and everyone expects they will marry one day.
But Garrard doesn't feel about her like he knows he should. He is attracted to men. He's in an on-going battle with these feelings. He prays, time after time, Lord, make me pure.
When Garrard is in college, he is outed to his parents by a fellow student. Now he has to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promises to "cure" him.
If he doesn't agree to do this he risks losing family and friends. Even the God he prays to daily.
Available from Amazon
Boy Erased, the film, is based on the book and stars Lucas Hedges as Garrard, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe as his parents.
DVD available from Amazon
I highly recommend this book and/or the movie. It helps us to better understand the turmoil so many gay people endure. It's so miserable for some that they commit suicide.
And it's all because so many people still believe being gay is a sin, a mental illness, an addiction, or all the above.
Some "ex-gay" ministries have shut down but many churches still teach homosexuality can be changed and that it's necessary to do so.
And, by teaching this, they are doing far more harm than good. But maybe they can't see this. Or, they don't want to.
What do you think?
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