You Can’t Pray The Gay Away: Netflix Premieres Documentary About Conversion Therapy

The streaming giant Netflix will host to the 2021 documentary Pray Away. The film, directed by Kristine Stolakis and produced by Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, looks at the leaders of Exodus International, one of the most controversial ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy organisations during the 1970s, reports TV Blackbox. The documentary also interviews survivors of the Exodus International organisation.

The documentary offers a hallowing look into the lives of the five Evangelical Christians who formed Exodus and claimed that they had successfully left their homosexuality in the past through the power of prayer. The documentary had its initial release earlier this year during Pride month at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 16, 2021.

The film trailer shows interviews from ex-members who were once the leading figureheads for the conversion therapy movement. Since the 1970s, these former leaders have come out as LGBTQIA+ and condemned the practices used in conversion therapy. Many mention how they regret the choices that were made in order to ‘pray away’ their homosexuality, reports Vulture.

At the height of the movement, young people across America were falling victim to the pseudoscience of conversion therapy. The mental, emotional and often physical duress experienced by people attempting conversion therapy will be addressed in this documentary.

“I became a figurehead for this movement. My role was to get the message out; homosexuality was changeable… I ached to be loved, and to love a man,” says one of the participants of the documentary.

“A voice inside me said, ‘how could you do that to your own people?’” says another participant.

The trailer teases that the movement continues today with new individuals taking up the torch; conversion therapy practices are a hauntingly present reminder that internalised shame continues to permeate the LGBTQIA+ community. The documentary will be available on Netflix from August 3, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/embed/tk_CqGVfxEs

by Joshua Donovan
Source – DNA Magazine

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