- Author Garrard Conley: Amid controversy over NC bathroom law, LGBT youth must have civil rights
- Currently, only five states prohibit subjecting minors to harmful "ex-gay" reparative therapy
Garrard Conley is the author of a new memoir, "Boy Erased" (Penguin Random House). A native of Arkansas, he has a master's degree in creative writing and queer theory and teaches literature at The American College of Sofia in Bulgaria. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.
(CNN)The way my parents explain it, they sent me to "ex-gay" reparative therapy to "cure" me of homosexuality because they had felt an overwhelming desire for our lives to be simpler. My mother had been the cheerleader, my father the quarterback: Their coupling was a meet cute that carried with it not the brutality of bigotry but the approbation of a Bible Belt town steeped in traditional family values. Why didn't I, their son, deserve the same straightforward life story? Or so they asked themselves before they sent me to Love in Action, at the time the largest residential "ex-gay" facility in the country.