Growing up my cousin Arthur was my bestie. Trust me, hours were spent discussing classic movie musicals and what guys we thought were cute and why…LOL. But his sexual orientation was a secret and only known to me. Once my Uncle discovered the truth they never spoke again. My cousin succumbed to AIDS and my Uncle passed many decades later with no remorse for alienating his son and neither had a chance to forgive and forget. My cousin literally was a ‘boy erased.’
Produced by Focus Features, Boy Erased is adapted from the book written by Garrard Conley and Martha Conley, in which the son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a ‘Jesus Camp’ conversion program after his parents oust believing he has engaged in homosexuality activity at college. Makes one wonder what the definition of a ‘true’ christian is. Does a true christian tell you God will not love you the way you are unless you want to change? Does a true christian beat you to a pulp with a bible in the name of drowning out being gay or make you take moral inventory?
I had an opportunity to speak with Martha and Garrard Conley at a roundtable recently and her are excerpts from that interview
INTERVIEW WITH MARTHA AND GARRARD CONLEY – BOY ERASED
Lucas Hedges is simply stunning in his portrayal of Jared. The tumultuous rollercoaster of physical and mental torture he endures to tell this story are admirable and sometimes hard to watch, but necessary in order to tell this story with effective truthfulness. Nicole Kidman as Nancy is complexly brave as a Mom who steps out of her comfort zone to support her son’s authentic self. However, it is Joel Edgerton as conversion counselor leader Victor Sykes that will sear your brain, not to mention his double duty as director and screenwriter for this project. Russell Crowe breaks your heart as the Dad who comes to realization he will not be a grandfather or attend his son’s wedding in the traditional sense. A realization that he will never seem to grasp. In one of the final scenes of the film Jared shares with his Dad “I’m Gay and I’m your son and neither of these things are going away.”
Boy Erased is a hard-core, realistic look at what happens when family and society pass judgement in lieu of understanding and support. If you have ever been like Jared or knows someone who is, make sure you catch this film when it hits TODAY!!!