For months I kept telling myself to check out Boy Erased in theaters as I’ve never seen the subject of gay conversion camps be displayed on the big screen like this.
Regrettably I didn’t see the film when it came out although there were droplets that reminded me to do so. A lot of that revolved around singer/actor Troye Sivan (who plays a major part in the film) consistently being nominated for Best Original Song from it for “Revelation”.
I saw that Boy Erased was a listed movie option on a recent flight that I was on and hit play immediately after takeoff.
The two hour film left me feeling a lot of things. Sadness, frustration, anger and wanting to jump through the screen to save every single person at this particular gay conversion camp.
What’s even worse is that this flick represents real life for hundreds of thousands of people who identity as LGBTQ that are blatantly and viciously told that who they are is wrong.
The acting by all is nothing short of perfection as I fully believed every character and could totally see them as real life people. It is based off of a true memoir by Garrard Conley, but that isn’t necessary here as this could’ve been told by many people who have experienced similar pasts.
The movie centers around the character of Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges) who is the son of a Baptist preacher (Russell Crowe) and his loyal wife (Nicole Kidman).
He’s accidentally outed by someone who does a horrific thing to him on the way to discovering his sexuality and is sent to a gay conversion camp as a result.
What goes on behind the doors of the camp is not known by the parents. There are many factors that go on to and the others while there, including denouncing your homosexuality by admitting your private matters are wrong in the eyes of the lord so he can forgive you and put you on the right path.
Did I even write that correctly? No this isn’t a note that I accidentally left in the draft of this article, I’m just trying to make sure that this stuff really does happen as I felt awful for each of them who had to go up and apologize for who they are. Hence the anger kicking in pretty early on.
The growing frustrations of what is going on around him begins to mount for Jared, who has to witness another person get beaten with a bible by his own family members for daring to defy who he is.
His mother wavered back and forth on him even being there from the beginning, but she stood by her husband and his desires for … up to a point.
The most intense scene of this film happened when he tried to escape and the mother not being able to get him out while the others held him down. It’s a shame that Nicole and Lucas got zero award show love for their roles as they were stellar in them.
Boy Erased is a necessity for our community to see. It’s an eye-opening experience to what’s still going on in the country and my hopes is that this is a stepping stone in order to make gay conversion therapy an eventual thing of the past.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.