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Neilly Series lecture: Garrard Conley

March 13, 2018
07:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Hawkins-Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library

Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased: A Memoir

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, forced to make a life-changing decision: 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. 

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