The first trailer for writer and director Joel Edgerton’s upcoming drama Boy Erased has been released, based on Garrard Conley's memoir in which he chronicles his experience as a gay teenager sent to conversion therapy.
Played by Oscar-nominated actor Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Conley's character comes out to his deeply religious mother (Nicole Kidman) and father (Russell Crowe). Xavier Dolan, pop star Troye Sivan, and Joe Alwyn round out the all-star cast.
But this won't be the only film set to tackle the subject. Chloë Grace Moretz stars in The Miseducation of Cameron Post, based on the novel by Emily M. Danforth—also about gay conversion therapy—which premiered at this year's Sundance Festival. Following the sweet romance of Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name, it will be interesting to see this newfound shift of focus re: gay narratives to a grimmer (and very real) depiction of gay life play out in pop culture.
While the idea of conversion therapy as a form of "spiritual" intervention seems outdated, it's important to remember it is very much prevalent (and legal) throughout most of the United States. Roughly 68 percent of the LGBTQIA+ population live in states with no laws banning conversion therapy for minors—41, to be exact—according to the Movement Advancement Project. Furthermore, throughout their polarizing campaign and since taking office, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have reportedly lended their ears to the Evangelical population and those in favor of the destructive practice, despite it being proven as both ineffective and psychologically damaging.
The power of storytelling, then, becomes imperative. Films like Boy Erased and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, have the potential to not only educate viewers on the damaging effects of conversion therapy but can also provide comfort to those who have survived the practice.
Boy Erased comes out on November 2.
Watch the full trailer below.
Be sure to also check out the NCLR's #BornPerfect campaign, which aims to end gay conversion therapy in the USA.