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Soon to be a major motion picture starring Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, and written and directed by Joel Edgerton.
The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small-town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.
When Garrard was a 19-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to 'cure' him of homosexuality or risk losing family, friends and the god he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalised twelve-step program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness.
By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heartbreaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.
"This brave and bracing memoir is an urgent reminder that America remains a place where queer people have to fight for their lives. It’s also a generous portrait of a family in which the myths of prejudice give way before the reality of love. Equal parts sympathy and rage, Boy Erased is a necessary, beautiful book." (Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You)
"A brave, powerful meditation on identity and faith, Boy Erased is the story of one man’s journey to accepting himself and overcoming shame and trauma in the midst of deep-rooted bigotry." (Buzzfeed)
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If queer, listen. If straight, listen twice.
For me as a queerdo, this book touched a fear deep inside. There is nothing wrong with being queer but everything with trying to change people because of being queer.