The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When he was outed to his parents at nineteen, he was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness.
By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.
BOY ERASED is soon to be a major motion picture from Focus Films, starring Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. His nonfiction has been published in TIME, CNN, VICE, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and others, and his debut novel, THE GREAT REVELATION, will be out in 2020. A leading LGBTQ activist, Conley has spoken across the country on topics such as conversion therapy, the complicated South, and the intersection of faith and sexuality. He currently lives in NYC with his husband. We're absolutely thrilled to welcome Garrard to Unbound!