LA Weekly - Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased centers on a school committed to the opposite of education, a school of cruel ignorance and unlearning, a sort of reverse Hogwarts committed to tearing away each student’s singular essence and disgorging into the world muggle after muggle. Based on Garrard Conley’s memoir, the film finds a young man coming out as gay to his evangelical parents and then being packed off to what their set calls “gay conversion therapy,” a term so specious and detestable it should never be afforded the dignity of appearing without scare quotes. Both book and movie stand as vital exposés of abusive zealotry, of the Dickensian charlatans and tormentors running programs that purport to straighten out LGBTQ kids but also of the parents and church communities willing to overlook those kids’ mistreatment, trusting them to the care of hucksters lacking expertise and credentials.


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