“Boy Erased” tells the real-life story of a teen who endured gay conversion therapy in Tennessee. Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe play Garrard Conley and his parents, respectively, in the story based on Garrard’s memoir.
“The first thing we’re taught is to love and then we’re taught not to judge,” stated Martha Conley, Garrard’s mother. “And so here we are judging and that really is the truth because I prayed the wrong prayer for a couple of years.”
Garrard said there is nothing he could have said to his past self that would have convinced him not to go into conversion therapy because he was afraid to lose everything, but that he would want him to know that he was going to be a witness to something he would have to carry into the future.
“Our arrow is not aimed at Christianity or religion,” he stated. “True Christianity is about love. So we’re concerned with spreading that message and making sure that the people who surround LGBTQ youth in these communities of faith are educated.”
Martha said the guilt she felt as a mother ultimately led her to realize her ignorance about the LGBTQ+ community, but also led her to become educated about her son and others like him.
“As a mother, I mean, he was the most important thing to me and I feel so guilty for taking him,” she stated.