A Note From Author Garrard Conley
Fourteen years have passed since my time in conversion therapy at Love in
Action, yet the sights and sounds and textures of my experience there remain as
vivid as ever: the sheen of the laminated Twelve Steps on the facility's stark
white walls, the cadence of my counselors' instructions, the feel of the padded
chairs against my white button-down shirt. Fourteen years have not completely
erased the pain of my trauma, but they have given me a great deal of insight. My
father no longer plays the villain and I the victim. The Love in Action staff no
longer plays the predictable role of dictator. My mother is no longer simply a
preacher's wife trapped between two impossible extremes. Our stories have
become, like all stories when carefully considered, all too human.
When Joel Edgerton, Lucas Hedges, and co-producer/actor David Craig visited
my family's home in Arkansas to conduct early research for an adaptation of my
memoir, I saw my insider perspective reflected in the way these outsiders spoke
earnestly to my Baptist parents. My story-and my family's story-was taken
seriously. No longer fodder for satire or skits, no longer seen as an isolated
small-town concern, conversion therapy became, in that living room, a tragic
practice whose roots have been in the country since its colonial foundations,
and whose long-lasting negative effects have altered not just the lives of
'ex-gay' patients but also those of their families and friends. Prejudice,
whether you are the one wielding it or receiving it, damages all.
It is my hope that the Boy Erased film continues the project of my memoir. By
telling my story, we want to give words of solidarity to those who have
experienced conversion therapy. But equally important to our project is the
question of how this kind of bigotry can be perpetuated by people who, at their
core, love one another. We hope to provide some context for viewers to
understand that these kinds of social injustices aren't always carried out by
monsters, but by people close to us, tragic figures whose decency is often
outstripped by their actions. "I want to convince your father what he did was
wrong," Joel said to me on the ride back to the airport. "And I want to do it in
a language he and others like him might understand."
Next Production Note Section
Home | Theaters | Video | TV
Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
© 2019 34®, All Rights Reserved.