I was 19, gay and ready to be ‘cured’ by conversion therapy

Here’s what Garrard Conley had to surrender the morning he arrived at the Love in Action facility in Memphis, Tennessee in 2004: his phone, his wallet, his driving licence and a Moleskine journal in which he wrote his short stories. A blond boy confiscated the journal and yanked a bunch of pages free from the binding. “And he said, in a voice free of emotion: ‘False Image’,” recalls Conley in Boy Erased, his elegant memoir about the year in which his southern Baptist upbringing collided with his sexual awakening as a gay man.

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