Words: Steve Brown
Garrard Conley wants the Boy Erased movie adaptation to serve as a “tool for activism”.
Based on Conley's 2016 memoir, the new movie – which is set to hit UK cinemas next year – follows Jared (Lucas Hedges) who is enrolled on a gay ‘conversion’ therapy course in the conservative US Bible Belt, where he comes across other young people struggling to reconcile their faith with their sexuality.
Now the author – who was sent to a conversion therapy camp by his own parents – hopes the big-screen adaptation will impact those who still believe the so-called therapy can change someone’s sexuality.
He told NBC News: “It is incredibly important to get those around queer people to get to the most basic thought of, ‘I think that conversion therapy is torture’.
“Even if they are not there yet in terms of acceptance, I just don’t want people to get sent to conversion therapy.”
The film stars a stellar cast including Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Hedges as well as LGBT advocates including Troye Sivan, Cherry Jones and Xavier Dolan.
And Conley was determined to make the film an “accurate portrayal” of that period of time and not a “sensationalised” version.
He added: “Boy Erased is a classic family drama, and because of that, it can be used as a talking point between parents and children – and hopefully within the community as well.”
Watch the trailer below: