(The Progressive) -- "Boy Erased” is based on the memoir of Garrard Conley who, as a teenager in 2004, underwent conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy.” It includes a host of pseudoscientific practices and faith-based counselling methods aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation – that is, “curing” the person of homosexuality.
Conversion therapy is based on the belief that being gender non-conforming – i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning – is abnormal. This belief has long been discredited by psychologists, medical authorities, academics and even many religious spokespeople. Yet it persists.
In January 2018, the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law estimated that about 700,000 LGBT adults in the United States have been subjected to conversion therapy at some point in their lives, including about 350,000 who received it as adolescents. The same study also estimated that 20,000 youth members of the LGBTQ community will undergo conversion therapy from a licensed healthcare professional before the age of 18 and that about 57,000 additional young people will receive the treatment from a religious or spiritual advisor.
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