A heartbreaking and intense memoir about Conley's experience in a 12-step ex-gay conversion program and more deeply, his knotty, complicated relationship with his parents. Conley's deeply embedded trauma from the shame-based dogma in his father's ministry and the sorrow he experienced in conversion therapy is both infuriating to behold and beautiful to read. He holds true to a non-condemning world where no one is demonized nor are they a saint.
— From Courtney
"The power of Conley's story resides not only in the vividly depicted grotesqueries of the therapy system, but in his lyrical writing about sexuality and love." --Los Angeles Times
"This brave and bracing memoir is an urgent reminder that America remains a place where queer people have to fight for their lives... Boy Erased
is a necessary, beautiful book." --Garth Greenwell
, author of What Belongs to You
A beautiful, raw and compassionate memoir about identity, love and understanding.
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 nineteen-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 institutionalized 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 heart-breaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds. A movie is in the works starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges, directed by Joel Edgerton and produced by Anonymous Content and Focus Features.