Gay conversion therapy movies are helping fight for US ban

Lucas Hedges, Joel Edgerton, Nicole Kidman, and Troye Sivan attend the premiere of "Boy Erased". (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Recent films have been associated with helping raise awareness of the fight to ban gay conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy was a hot topic for Hollywood this year. Both Boy Erased and The Miseducation of Cameron Post received critical acclaim upon release and have now been pointed out for their efforts in raising awareness of the subject.

According to a new report, both films have helped drive in numbers of sign-ups to campaigns focused on banning gay conversion therapy. The midterm election results also helped spur numbers up.

The Trevor Project’s Sam Brinton told the Associated Press that their ban campaign saw thousands of people sign up since Boy Erased was released at the beginning of November. Brinton said: “They’re recognizing this is still a problem and joining our campaigns in droves.”

The release of the film, starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, also coincided with the midterm election which saw three states positioned to ban conversion therapy.

Licensed therapists to change a minor’s sexual orientation are already prohibited in fourteen states and the District of Columbia. Colorado, Maine and New York saw a Democratic ‘Blue Wave’ during the midterms which could pave the way for passing a ban. A proposal for a conversion therapy bill is also under consideration in Massachusetts.

“We’d be disappointed if we don’t get those this year — they’re overdue,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The centre is campaigning to impose bans in all 50 US states.

Gay conversion therapy has “been proven to be so dangerous.”

Troye Sivan, who also appears in Boy Erased, announced in August that he would partner with The Trevor Project to work on their “50 Bills 50 States” campaign to ban conversion therapy.


Troye Sivan on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Troye Sivan spoke out against conversion therapy (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/youtube)

“It’s been proven to be so dangerous and hurtful and obviously ineffective,” the singer said at the time.

Gerrard Conley, the author of the Boy Erased book of which the film is adapted from, tweeted: “OK, not to be dramatic, but it’s not every day you find out your baby book (turned movie) has actually brought thousands to the fight against conversion therapy.”

“I am still shaking over this. Endless gratitude for the #BoyErased team.”

— Gerrard Conley

Chloe Grace Moretz, star of the Miseducation of Cameron Post, recently told PinkNews that gay conversion therapy in America is “a silent epidemic that, now more than ever, especially under our administration, is growing in traction.”

The actress also revealed that she is currently working on a docu-series on the subject, having been inspired by the filming of the story.