‘Gay conversion therapy,’ also known as reparative therapy, refers to psychotherapy treatments that try to change a change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to Stonewall, it’s based on an assumption that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is a mental illness that can be ‘cured’.
Shockingly, ‘conversion therapy’ is still not illegal in the UK – although the NHS and all the major psychotherapy bodies have totally rejected it.
But in some pockets of the UK, and much more commonly in the US, ‘conversion’ treatments are still rife.
And a new film, called Boy Erased, is shining a light on this heinous practice. Directed by Australian actor Joel Edgerton, the film is based on a 2016 memoir by Garrard Conley recounting his childhood in a fundamentalist Arkansas family who enrolled him in ‘conversion therapy’.
The film stars Hollywood legends Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe along with Lucas Hedges, of Three Billboards and Lady Bird fame.
“I think about men,” Hedges says in the trailer. “I don’t know why, and I’m so sorry.”
Here’s a full synopsis for the upcoming film:
Boy Erased tells the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a gay conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. “Boy Erased” is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.
Watching the trailer, it’s painfully clear I’m going to be bawling my eyes out through the entirety of this film. I can’t wait. Love me a good cry.
Australian pop singer Troye Sivan also stars in the movie, and his song ‘Revelation’ is featured in the trailer.
Boy Erased is set to be released later this year.
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(Images: Focus Features)