Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

Boy Erased

A beautiful, raw and compassionate memoir about identity, love and understanding.   The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.   When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy pr...

Details Boy Erased

TitleBoy Erased
Release DateMay 10th, 2016
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Lgbt, Religion, Biography

Reviews Boy Erased

  • Elyse
    5 strong stars -- Geeeee!!! I am sorry this took place in the Bay Area!!!! Shame on us for allowing such a 'sick-program'!! THE AUDIOBOOK HELD MY ATTENTION-- I was literally shocked at some of the things that went on in this 12 step program- to FIX GAY PEOPLE! I had NO IDEA that these institutions REALLY existed. Garrard Conley: I'm soooo sorry for what you went through! Your memoir is completely engaging- shocking and heart wrenching-- my god-- ...
  • Thomas
    4.5 starsA compelling, compassionate memoir about Garrard Conley's struggle with his homosexuality while growing up in an ultra-religious town and family. He writes about undergoing ex-gay conversion therapy, disappointing his father - a Baptist pastor - and his church as a whole, and using writing itself to cope with his emotional wounds. Though he tells his story in a consistent personal narrative style, Conley connects his journey to the pain ...
  • Simon
    Well Garrard Conley's memoir about 'ex-gay' therapy, Boy Erased, is incredible. I've been through all the feelings; horror, sadness, disbelief, joy, hope - the works. One of my Books Of 2016 without a doubt. I want everyone to read it.
  • Vitor Martins
    Esse é um livro de memórias de um filho de pastor que no início da sua vida adulta foi enviado para um programa de cura gay.Saber que esses relatos são verdadeiros fez o meu coração doer por boa parte da leitura. Não foi fácil. Meu coração doía pensando em milhares de pessoas no mundo que acreditam que precisa ser "curadas" de sua homossexualidade, e doía porque eu lembrava de muitas coisas que vivi. O livro começa um pouco lento, ma...
  • Shawn Mooney
    I do not come from a fundamentalist Christian background, but as a gay man who has dabbled in queer journalism over the years, I have done quite a bit of reading, research, and writing about the ex-gay movement. It goes without saying that I loath everything about it; I've been delighted to see the various exposes and disbandings of late.So I was very much looking forward to reading this fresh new memoir about a young gay guy in the American Sout...
  • Roumy Mihaylova
    I had started reading Garrard Conley's beautiful memoir when, one night, I had the strangest dream. I was in a library, and on the highest shelf, the one out of reach, there were piles of different books. I saw three copies of Boy Erased: A Memoir on that highest shelf. When I asked the librarian how I could get one, I was told that if I could jump high enough to reach it, the book would be mine forever. So I started jumping, and jumping, and jum...
  • Kelly
    I love so much about this book, and am envious of so much. The clear, beautiful sentences that catch you unawares with the emotional depth they contain. The weavy structure. The lack of goopy sentimentality coupled with total emotional vulnerability. The sense of movement throughout, and the sense of capital-G God looming in the cosmic background radiation while all of this goes on. If you may permit me: GC puts the "pow" in powerful.
  • Tyler Goodson
    Boy Erased is the best kind of memoir: one less interested in looking back and arranging the past than in trying to get as close to truth as possible. It's so heartbreaking and affecting because it is never easy, never black and white--you can't help but recognize the humanity in every person involved. Conley's willingness to complicate every issue and person, and never settle for what might be easier and simpler is what we need now, and make thi...
  • Julie Ehlers
    When I first heard about this book I had a vague feeling that I didn't really need to read it. After all, I was raised Catholic, so I felt like I already knew all about "faith-based" homophobia. After a bit of contemplation, though, I realized that I actually had no idea what goes on in "gay conversion therapy." While I could certainly speculate, in reality everything about it was a mystery to me. So I picked up Boy Erased and decided to find out...
  • Pavellit Off
    This is an important story about a boy who is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program, ironically called 'Love in Action', which in its short time has managed to erased him, perhaps in ways that can't be repaired. It's also about the reality of being a gay son of a baptist preacher in the South in a strictly religious community- full of secrets, full of unsaid words. The Bible belt is more suffocating than ever. The mem...
  • Doug
    Surprised at all the glowing reviews, since this book is unfortunately not only woefully overwritten, but at the same time underdeveloped. It strains for a lyricism that is not only inappropriate for the subject, but actually works against its message. And for a book supposedly focused on the author's experiences with Love in Action (LIA), an ex-gay ministry, that is a rather minor part of the whole, since A. he was only in the program for 8 days...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    As a boy, Garrard's life was immersed in his orthodox community. When he finally decided to come out to his family though, the people he grew up with turned out to be anything but loving or understanding. He was sent to a conversion "straight camp", where it was hoped that his "illness" would be "cured". This memoir is about his resilience and how he overcame the bigotry from his parents and church, and how he has learned to be proud of who he is...
  • Lynn
    The author was born in Arkansas to conservative Missionary Baptist parents and from a young age he had same-sex-attractions. His parents found out, were shamed, and sent him to religiously based ex- gay therapy.This memoir is an excruciating account and blistering condemnation of this therapy and the grave harm it causes. This is the exact same type of therapy that our Vice President elect, Mike Pence supports but which the American Psychological...
  • April
    Not sure if it was too long, too boring, too religious, or too repetitive, but I didn't like it...clearly I am in the minority. I just never got a feeling for the character.
  • Scott
    I'm not sure what bothered me more about Boy Erased -- that author Conley experienced some of the objectionable things (being sent to 'ex-gay' therapy by his devoutly religious parents as an adult, etc.) he details in his memoir, or that after the first 100 or so pages that the powerful and affecting narrative sort of frustratingly jumps the tracks for awhile. However, I need to be fair and mention that by the final two or three chapters things r...
  • Gloria Zmolek
    For the past three years, I have been following Garrard’s journey of writing and publishing BOY ERASED. I knew it was about his experience in an Ex-Gay camp in Arkansas but didn’t know much more, so I expected the book to be mostly about his time in the camp. While an important part of his story, the book is about so much more. Specifically, it is about his process of coming out in the South, commonly referred to as the Bible Belt, while his ...
  • Chris
    The one thing that's undeniable about Garrard Conley's memoir is that it is truly fascinating. As a gay person myself, it is impossible not to wonder what sort of horrors are inflicted upon people that are unfortunate enough to be subjected to one of these "straight camps," if you will. So when I picked this book up at the library, I was excited to finally learn. I was hoping for a story similar to that of Anne Frank- an inspiring tale of a teen'...
  • Eric Anderson
    Despite all of the heart-wrenching human lows expressed in this book, Garrard Conley holds true to a non-condemning, non-binary world view, where none are demonized and none are saints. This book is more than a moving, candid tale of a boy coming to terms with his sexuality in the evangelical south—it is a useful tale. Useful for anyone that age who is struggling with the same decisions. Useful for anyone who had to travel the same path Conley ...
  • Brian Murray
    Boy Erased is an unpleasant and necessary read.Conley details some very complex and dark emotions. This is not really the story of his coming out, nor is it the story of his days in ex-gay therapy, although those are both chronicled. No, this book is a chaos, emotionally, thematically, and structurally. Conley frequently goes back and forth between three or even four narrative threads at once. It can be confusing at first, but as you read, the co...
  • Eric Hausman-Houston
    I just finished BOY ERASED, and I'm so glad this book is out there. Not only because this horrific story, beautifully written with humor and gut wrenching honesty, is so important to be told, but also because it means this wonderful young man has survived, though with scars that may take a lifetime to heal. I had the good fortune of hearing Garrard discuss BOY ERASED at the The National Arts Club in NYC. His speaks as well as he writes. He's as d...
  • Iulia
    Popsugar Reading Challenge 2018 - A book with a LGBTQ+ character (10/40) "Boy Erased" was very educational. Never having been religious, I held a quite narrow view of religious fundamentalism as it exists in America, especially in the South. Garrard's introspection opened my eyes to the sense of peace and belonging that such community can instill in its members. (once you accept the constant sacrifice, hatred and self-denial that come with the pa...
  • Jeremy
    This is an extraordinary book, and an important one, especially if you have ever struggled to reconcile your sexuality with your religion, which is not to say this book has the answer, but it is an experience about a religious boy who discovers that he is gay, who then fights against the very nature of his being because of his religion. But what makes A Boy Erased so wonderful is that it goes beyond being just about the "victim" of an ex-gay conv...
  • Harrison Hill
    A moving/ intense memoir about ex-gay conversion therapy and -- more deeply -- the author's knotty, complicated relationship with his parents. The ex-gay stuff is v interesting (read: horrifying) on a historical, sociological level, and the family material is totally raw and brave, all the more for the very real implications for the people involved. Totally recommended.(Also, #truestory of how found out about how this book: I spotted a galley of ...
  • Kyle
    Actual rating: 2.5I picked up this memoir under the impression that it would entail a lengthy/important conversation on conversion therapy programs, as well as the author’s long, arduous journey through the process therein, and, eventually, on to his post-therapy years. What I got was merely a fleeting glimpse of that.Here’s the thing: this book is sorely underdeveloped.Mr. Conley writes from a wobbly memory of his eight-day stay at LIA (Love...
  • Caitlin Granger
    4.5 starsI can't recall the last time I read a memoir. If I did read a memoir in the past few years, this book completely overshadowed that one.This was an incredibly personal, moving, and powerful read. I've watched numerous videos on conversion therapy, but actually reading about one's experience with it- it was even more heartbreaking.It's so easy to get lost in Garrard's writing because he is so descriptive and figurative that I feel like I'm...
  • Jeremy West
    Powerful and incredible read. Garrard's story is one that everyone should read, no matter what your beliefs may be.
  • Ashley Holstrom
    My heart hurts. Boy Erased is an essential read for humans.
  • Christine
    I am one who usually likes memoirs, and gives a lot of credit for the bravery it takes to write one and be so transparent. I'm not sure if this one was just too repetitive, too overwritten, too boring, or too vague in most areas... But I just didn't feel much connection to author.
  • Michelle
    This fascinating and absorbing coming-of-age LGBT memoir authored by Garrard Conley recalled his forced entry in a faith based evangelical reparative therapy program in 2004. The ideology that homosexuality could be cured began in 1973, and in 1982 Exodus International a powerful global outreach organization formed from Love In Action (LIA). In 2009, The American Psychological Association advised therapists that sexual orientation could not be ch...