Netflix’s Emo the Musical has a surprising love song about gay ‘cure’ therapy

Emo the Musical features a love song about gay ‘cure’ therapy.

The Australian black comedy film, which is streaming worldwide on Netflix, revolves around a conflict between a high school’s emo rock band Worst Day Ever and the puritanical Christian Hope Group.

One story arc in the film features Hope Group member Peter (Craig Hyde-Smith) struggling with his sexuality and undergoing electroshock therapy to ‘cure’ himself of homosexual thoughts.

The storyline culminates in love song ‘Electrified’ – a bitingly critical take on homophobic Christian teachings and gay ‘cure’ therapy – as Josh (Kevin Clayette) attempts to coax Peter to be himself.

Josh sings: “If my love for you should somehow bring about
Global warming
I promise I will take the heat
If my love for you is responsible wars in the Middle East
I’ll go over there and I’ll make peace

‘Cause I’d be drowned in Sodom
I’d be burnt in Gamorrah
I’d happily go to prison
Like Ugandans think we oughtta

I’d go through years and years of conversion therapy
I would fill my body with volts of electricity.”

Peter sings:

“I want a world where Jesus loves me
Where the kids at school don’t laugh at me and scorn
I fear the devil’s got a hold of me
How will I ever be reborn?

But I’d be drowned in Sodom
I’d be burnt in Gamorrah
I’ll happily be castrated
Like Alan Turing thought he oughtta
I’ll take as many drugs as they wanna give me
I will tie myself up to a stake
And burn myself for witchery.”

The film comes from queer filmmaker Neil Triffett, who worked on the project over several years.

Triffett told Calgary International Film Festival: “I think the core is the same, being about a relationship between an Emo and Christian, but the story has grown bigger, with more characters and a bigger plot.

“The film is a ‘coming out’ tale and because we have eight characters we can do that in many sorts of ways now, from characters accepting they love a Christian, one accepting they’re gay, one simply owning up to liking basketball.

“Hopefully, that makes it more universal. I think distance has allowed me to better understand why I wanted to tell this story – the further I got from high school (I’m still in my 20’s) the more I can see what a confusing time it was. Accepting others and accepting yourself isn’t as easy as it sounds.”