Boy Erased [R], 2018.
The most important events in our lives are rarely just about one thing. That which is most significant to us is also most complicated, intermixing with multiple aspects of our existence. So it is with Boy Erased, which is not just about conservative religion and human sexuality. It is also about the ways in which humans make decisions, how people are influenced by their culture and community, how delusional we can become by our beliefs, and how we make adaptations to our selves and our environment.
Most importantly, this film is about the hope and power of family–by blood or by affection–and the enduring resilience of what I will call “love’s truth,” a term to describe our awakening to a reality that we would otherwise miss had we not first reached deep into ourselves to connect our soul with another. “Love’s truth” listens deeply, is humble, understanding, and embraces the fullness of our humanity. “Love’s truth” views our personal theologies and philosophies through the lens of this understanding and embrace of one another. “Love’s truth” is our salvation.
As for a commendation, I think it best to cite Justin Lee:
I truly believe that every Christian parent with an LGBT+ child should see this movie. It is the most accurate film depiction of “conversion therapy” that I’ve ever seen. Hollywood usually gets these sorts of stories really wrong, but this one is surprisingly well done.
For those of us who have been through “ex-gay” stuff ourselves, a film like this can be either cathartic or triggering, so use your own judgment about whether to see it. But for parents who might still be considering conversion attempts for their kids, this should be required viewing. I was surprised by how many things in this film I related to, and it reminded me all over again why we must keep working to change attitudes.
For more see Alan Chambers’ My Exodus.