A timely and topical new film debuted at Telluride Film Festival this month and will make its way to theatres by end of year. Boy Erased is the story of the damages done to individuals and families by the practice of conversion therapy.
In the midst of a country divided, the majority of states are still in a constant conflict of religious and personal freedoms, and this film strikes a hard-hitting chord.
Boy Erased is the story of two religious parents (Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) who discover their son, Jared (Lucas Hedges), may be gay and enlist him in a conversion therapy based program. Based on a memior of the same name of Garrard Conley, the film is the sophomore effort of filmmaker Joel Edgerton and features openly gay musician Troye Sivan, who contributed two songs to the soundtrack.
The film is an impactful narrative to families and parents of LGBTQ children through the struggles of those who are sent to therapy. Parents who see the queerness of their children as a personal failure are given the opportunity to view the topic as something other than a problem that needs to be fixed or cured.
The practice of conversion therapy here in Colorado continues to be a debated topic. As recent as March of 2018, House Bill 18-1245 was the fourth introduction, and loss, that would have ended conversion therapy on minors in the state. This bill would have prohibited licensed doctors, psychiatrists, or therapists from using conversion therapy techniques on anyone under the age of 18. The bill has consistently passed in the house but lost traction and died in the senate.
Currently, nine states have banned gay conversion therapy for minors, including California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Nevada.
This issue continues to be a fight for the majority of the country and is not going away. Films like Boy Erased are necessary, as they challenge viewers around the urgency of the matter. Lives are regularly lost through the harmful practice of religious queer erasure, and the more exposure that mainstream media can bring to LGBTQ issues, the quicker things will change.
Set to release nationwide in November, “Boy Erased deserves praise not as a polemic but as a richly humanistic, emotionally searing drama that sticks in the memory,” stated the Hollywood Reporter.