Gay Conversion Debunked in Sundance Film Fest Grand Prize Winner

A new feature that illustrates the harm caused by gay conversion therapy has won the grand jury prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Chloë Grace Moretz plays the lead in The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which follows Cameron’s travails after she’s discovered in a sexual encounter with the school prom queen and is exiled to a gay conversion therapy camp by her relatives. 

“The [Trump] administration actually completely believes in conversion therapy,” Moretz declared from the red carpet at a press event for the film’s premiere. “Mike Pence tried to get it state-funded when he was Senator, so it is a very real problem,” she stated flatly.

Nine states, including Oregon, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Illinois, Nevada and Washington D.C. each have laws on the books prohibiting gay conversion therapy.

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More than a dozen states have bills in various stages of completion to outlaw conversion therapy as harmful to minors, but there are a remaining 25 — half of our 50 states that have no laws precluding the practice or inhibiting it in any way.

Estimates from a recent study suggest that as many 20,000 LGBT teens could be subjected to conversion therapy techniques before they reach adulthood and can have a say in their own mental health care.

Speaking at the press reception Forrest Goodluck, who plays Sam, a male Navajo two-spirit, went on to say that the new film “deals with a lot of deep issues: homophobia, sexism, racism, all the ‘isms,’ and brings to light prejudices and biases that are hidden under the rug in this country and countries all around the world.” During the course of her forced treatment at the camp, Cameron bonds with Sam over the merits — or lack thereof — in trying to change the nature of a person’s sexual orientation.

Jennifer Ehle appears as therapist Lydia Marsh in the film, and although her character is committed to the notion that people can change their sexual orientations, Ehle said she had her hands full in bringing the character to life “without demonizing her, to really focus on how much she really does feel she cares and really does believe she is helping.”

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Kevin Phinney
Tags: movies

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