Boy Erased is a memoir by Garrard Conley. Published in 2016 by Riverhead Books, it tells Conley’s story of confronting and accepting his sexuality and the conversion program his religious parents imposed upon him. The book has been well received and is due to release as a film in September 2018. Conley currently teaches English literature and is an active campaigner for LGBTQIA equality in Bulgaria. He’s also been published in major publications such as The Virginia Quarterly Review and The Common. Boy Erased is his debut novel.
Conley, along with Edge Media Network, who are producing the film, hope Boy Erased will help end conversion and identity-changing programs. Conley hopes that his account will raise awareness of how common this practice still is, and how urgently any kind of sexual conversion therapy must end.
Conley grows up as the son of a Baptist pastor in small-town, rural Arkansas. His family are Christian fundamentalists with a rigid and narrow moral code. Growing up, Conley is expected to conform to their desires and adhere to their strict religious upbringing. There is no tolerance for rebellion or differences of any kind. However, as Conley grows into a teenager, he realizes he won’t be able to ignore the truth about his sexuality forever.