BOY ERASED In select theaters NOW!
Garrard Conley, know this name, he is the epitome of courage and love. I originally saw the trailer of Boy Erased and thought how could a parent not accept their child just because of their sexual orientation? I saw the movie and it’s so much more than just this one question. It was about a father, whom is a pastor and decides to send their son to conversion therapy. It broke my heart, there are 38 states that still allow this nonsense. Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions.
Here’s my take on this, we are all human beings that we deserve love, acceptance and most importantly you, we, not shove our beliefs down another persons’ throat. As a mom, if my kiddo came to me and said, “Hey mom, I’m gay.” My very first reaction would be to hug him and let him know how much I love him. Because in the end, all that matters is that our children are happy, healthy, safe and alive, everything else is sprinkles on top. The world is a cruel place, as parents, we shouldn’t be adding any more pressure, it is our responsibility to protect them as much as we can and accept them for whom they are.
Thank you Focus Features for giving me the opportunity to interview Garrard Conley (memoir author) and his mom, Nancy. I had the chance to let Nancy know the scene where she’s picking up Garrard at the convention therapy and she’s saying to the director of the establishment, “shame on you, shame on me.” At that moment, I found myself weeping, the pain in her voice, her heart was hurting for her son and all she wanted to do at that moment was to protect her son.
When asked about what she originally thought of conversion therapy, “At that time, I still wasn’t aware of how phony this place really was,” it wasn’t until her son came home with “homework” that Ms. Conley began to research gay-conversion therapy and this is when she came across that it has been outlawed in nine states and has been denounced by reputable medical groups. “I was doing the homework that I should have done before we took him, and that’s part of my guilt right there,” she said. “I’ll let anybody believe what he or she wants to believe because of the way I was raised, but conversion therapy, you should not believe that even one part of it is good. We want it to be illegal.”
I was able to ask Conley if he ever revealed what happened to him during his time at the conversion center, "they don’t know everything and yes, my parents made a terrible mistake which could have cost me my life. But they didn't know what they were doing to me [in conversion therapy].”
When asked about her husband now, “My husband loves his son so much.” Conley added, “My dad has a congregation of 150 people that he’s really worried about losing, I think my dad has changed personally, I know that. But as a public figure, he has not changed. And that’s very tricky.”
If you want to help make a difference support The Trevor Project. “Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. More LGBTQ youth in crisis have been calling, texting, and reaching out to The Trevor Project for support now than at any time in The Trevor Project’s history.”
I recommend Boy Erased for so many reasons but the bases of why I believe you should see it, it will shed light and give you an understanding that, a child, your child, a stranger, friend, family member, needs love and acceptance That our goal in life should be to make everyone feel welcomed, loved, needed and that we value them and their life.
“Boy Erased” tells the courageous story of Jared Eamons (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who must overcome the fallout of being outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe). His parents struggle with reconciling their love for their son with their beliefs. Fearing a loss of family, friends, and community, Jared is pressured into attending a conversion therapy program. While there, Jared comes into conflict with its leader (Edgerton) and begins his journey to finding his own voice and accepting his true self.
Writer/Director: Joel Edgerton (“The Gift,” “Loving”) based on Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith and Family by Garrard Conley
Producers: Steve Golin, Kerry Kohansky-Roberts, Joel Edgerton
Cast: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton, Cherry Jones, Michael “Flea” Balzary, Xavier Dolan, Troye Sivan, Joe Alwyn, Emily Hinkler, Jesse LaTourette, David Joseph Craig, Théodore Pellerin, Madelyn Cline, and Britton Sear