Boy Erased

Acclaimed memoirist Garrard Conley explores self-expression, identity, radical compassion, and LGBTQAI+ issues.
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Garrard Conley at Google Talks

Boy Erased | Garrard Conley | Talks at Google

In this interview, Conley discusses his struggles with sexuality and faith, his relationships with his family, and how he ultimately escaped conversion therapy to live as an openly gay man.

Program Topics

  • Radical Compassion

    What do we do when restrictive thinking damages our understanding of compassion and goodness? Garrard Conley shares stories from his memoir, Boy Erased, about growing up in a fundamentalist household and attending a conversion therapy program. In the midst of harmful practices and intense bigotry, Conley dug deep to find compassion for himself and even for the counselors who harmed him. After over a decade of recovery, he now shares some of his insights on human nature and the transformative benefits of radical compassion.

Boy Erased

The New York Times bestselling memoir about identity, love and understanding. Now a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges, directed by Joel Edgerton.

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 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, Boy Erased is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.

Available in Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook.
352 pages; Aug 21, 2018

Boy Erased

” Every sentence of the story will stir your soul.”

O Magazine

“A brave, powerful meditation on identity and faith, Boy Erased is the story of one man’s journey to accepting himself and overcoming shame and trauma in the midst of deep-rooted bigotry.”


“An engaging memoir that will inevitably make readers long for a more equal future.”

Kirkus Reviews
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