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Author of 'Boy Erased' talks about life after conversion therapy

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A still photo of Nichole Kidman and Russell Crowe from the film "Boy Erased"
Focus Features
Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe portrayed Garrard Conley's parents in the film version of his memoir, "Boy Erased."

Garrard Conley walked away from the Love in Action program fearing his family and his God would reject him.

Growing up in Mountain Home, Arkansas, Garrard Conley had a lot going for him. He was homecoming king, loved his family and had a life that revolved around his church.

As he relates in his memoir, "Boy Erased," Conley was vindictively outed to his parents while in college and his father gave him an ultimatum, go to conversion therapy or lose contact with his parents and his college tuition.

The author recalls not seeing another path forward. "I remember just thinking 'I can't leave my family and I can't leave this community and the God that I've prayed to every day since I was old enough to pray,' and so, I said 'yes.'"

Garrard Conley tells what led him to risk losing all that when he decided to leave the program and how conversion therapy is still being inflicted on thousands of gay men.

Garrard Conley presents the UMKC Pride Lecture at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9. This will be an online presentation and registration is required.

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