It’s not unusual for a writer to dedicate a book to their parents – but for Garrard Conley to have dedicated Boy Erased to his mother and father and thanked them in the acknowledgements is more surprising, given that it is all about what they put him through.
They are the ones who told him he had to go through “gay conversion therapy” or leave the family forever.
Conley had been outed to his parents by his rapist after being assaulted in college. But, to his Baptist preacher father and his mother, the crime was in him being gay.
Boy Erased is available to view on BBC Iplayer and well worth watching. Click on this link to view it. You may need to sign on to view this.