“Revelation” from Boy Erased

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Troye Sivan and Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi have released “Revelation” from the soundtrack of the gay conversion therapy drama Boy Erased. The film, adapted from the memoir by Garrard Conley, stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe as well as Troye.

Boy Erased recounts Arkansas native Conley’s life growing up in a religious home and being sent away to gay conversion therapy, an ordeal he would survive but which would drastically affect his life.

Troye spoke to Stephen Colbert in September about learning of the experience boys who enter gay conversion “therapy” go through: “The thing that was most hurtful about it… I remember being so relieved – I’m gay by the way – when I came out to myself, because I was like ‘it’s not something I can change. It’s not something I have to fight any more. It’s just something I have to navigate and accept.’ And so that was the big moment for me, and the second that these kids or sometimes adults arrived at these camps, that was taken away from them and they were told immediately, ‘no, you weren’t born like this. this is a God-shaped hole that you’re trying to fill with these homosexual tendencies.’”

Imagining being 15 again when I was at my most vulnerable, and having that put back on me and being set up with that impossible task of trying to change this thing that ultimately is unchangeable, it’s just one of the most damaging things I can imagine. And so I really hope that the movie is going to speak to – I really want to communicate with parents as to just how much your reaction to your kid coming out can really change their lives.”

Boy Erased

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Gay conversion “therapy” in America has become a poignant cultural touch point in the era of Mike Pence. The practice is, alarmingly, still legal in 41 US states.

Following the release of Desiree Akhvan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post early next month, Focus Features is readying Joel Edgerton’s gripping conversion drama Boy Erased, based on Garrard Conley’s Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family.

The film stars Lucas Hedges as the teenage son of a Baptist pastor in small town Arkansas, who is sent off to a conversion therapy camp by his straight-laced parents, played by Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman. Crowe and Kidman aren’t the only two big-name Aussies to appear alongside Hedges — Boy Erased also features popstar du jour Troye Sivan as a silvery-haired fellow queer at Lucas’s camp. “Play the part,” Sivan instructs Hedges in the first official trailer, flexing a very passable Arkansas accent.

Conley, who is working with Edgerton on Boy Erased, wrote in a blog post last year that he’d be “working hard to populate the world of Love in Action [the conversion camp] with predominantly queer actors.” While Hedges isn’t gay, Boy Erased won’t be his major gay moment on screen. He also appeared in Lady Bird as the titular character’s all-American first boyfriend Danny.

Boy Erased hits cinemas on November 2, 2018.

CBS on gay conversion

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On the heels of the ‘gay conversion therapy‘ drama Boy ErasedCBS Sunday Morning took a look at the harmful and useless practice, as well as its ridiculous methods, like “cuddle therapy,” but it sadly gave way too much a platform to the proponents of this dangerous and debunked practice in an effort to appear “fair and balanced”.

Troye about Conversion Therapy

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Learning about the harmful messages of conversion therapy for the film Boy Erased led gay musician and actor Troye Sivan to imagine the effect on vulnerable young people, he said Thursday night on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

“When we arrived on set day one, they gave us the resources kids would typically get when they arrived at the [conversion therapy] camp, like actual printed-out resources,” Sivan told Colbert. These packets outlined the strict rules queer kids are given at the camps, including limited body contact as well as a mandatory dress code that required girls to carry purses and wear skirts while forbidding boys to wear tight-fitting clothes.

“I remember being so relieved when I came out to myself because I was like, OK, this is not something that I can change. It’s not something that I have to fight anymore,” Sivan said. This added a weight to learning that youth in “ex-gay” camps are told, “No, this is not you, you weren’t born like this. This is a God-shaped hole you are trying to fill with these homosexual tendencies,” he explained.

Filming Boy Erased caused the singer to imagine “being 15 again when I was sort of at my most vulnerable and having that put back on me, and being set up with that impossible task of trying to change this thing that is ultimately unchangeable.”

Sivan hopes parents see the film and learn that “your reaction to your kid coming out can really shape their lives.” Boy Erased will play at the Toronto International Film Festival Saturday and open in U.S. theaters November 2.

An American Trans Life

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Many people wouldn’t be surprised to learn that transgender people experience discrimination in the United States (see: North Carolina’s HB2), but now there’s a 300-page report to back up that gut feeling, and the levels of inequality are far more than many people would expect.

The study, released by the National Center for Transgender Equality, shows that transgender people face a shocking amount of discrimination. The study involved a survey of almost 28,000 people across the U.S. The researchers found devastating levels of discrimination in every aspect of life, from work, family, housing and general safety.

“The findings reveal disturbing patterns of mistreatment and discrimination and startling disparities between transgender people in the survey and the U.S. population when it comes to the most basic elements of life, such as finding a job, having a place to live, accessing medical care, and enjoying the support of family and community,” the researchers said.

Family Life and Support

Respondents reported varying levels of support from family members. 60% of the respondents who were out to their families said their families were supportive of their gender identity. 18% said their family was unsupportive and the remainder said their family was neutral.

For transgender people, family support can have a significant impact on the rest of their lives. Those with supportive families were less likely to experience other forms of discrimination and hardship or to experience them to a lesser extent. Those with supportive families were almost 20% less likely to experience homelessness and less likely to attempt suicide.

Unfortunately, not all families are supportive. One in ten transgender people reported that a family member was violent toward them for being trans and 8% were kicked out of the house by their family. Another 10% ran away from home.

Mistreatment in School

Discrimination against transgender people starts at an early age. Almost 80% of people who were openly or believed to be transgender while in school experienced mistreatment. More than half experienced verbal harassment, a quarter experienced physical assault and 13% were sexually assaulted. 17% of transgender K-12 students left a school because the experienced severe mistreatment.

Workplace Discrimination

Discrimination against trans people doesn’t end when they get their diploma. In fact, discrimination at work can be so serious for them that many end up unemployed and even homeless. For example, 13% of the respondents had lost a job because they were transgender and 19% had been fired, denied a promotion or not been hired for a job because of their gender identity. In the past year, 15% said their were verbally harassed or physically or sexually assaulted while at work because they were transgender.

Experiences in Bathrooms

The survey took place before North Carolina’s discriminatory bathroom bill, HB2, was legalized. And yet, transgender people already faced discrimination and violence in public restrooms so great that 59% avoided them altogether. As a result, they often experienced urinary tract infections, kidney infections or other kidney-related issues. About one-third of respondents limited what they ate and drank during the day so they wouldn’t have to use public restrooms.

9% said they’d been refused access to a public bathroom because of their gender identity and 12% reported being verbally, physically or sexually assaulted in a public bathroom. Despite what North Carolina’s lawmakers believe, it’s trans people who are in danger in public restrooms.

Harassment, Violence & Homicide

The survey found that transgender people face horrific levels of  harassment, sexual assault and physical violence. Almost half of respondents had been sexually assaulted in their lifetime, with 10% reporting they’d been sexually assaulted in the year prior to the survey. More than half had experienced intimate partner violence. In the past year, almost half had been verbally harassed for being transgender and 9% had been physically assaulted. These experiences were even more common for respondents who had experienced homelessness or who had engaged in sex work.

While not included in the research, transgender people also face alarming rates of homicide, with black transwomen being specifically targeted. According to Mic, if everyone faced the same risk of murder as a black transwoman, the murder rate would increase from 15,696 to 120,087 in the Unites States.

Of all the transgender murders in the U.S. between 2013-2015, not one was prosecuted and none were reported as hate crimes. To make sure these lost trans lives are not forgotten, Mic created a database called “Unerased” which includes over one hundred murdered trans people.

via care2