As a young man, Garrard Conley, the son of a Baptist pastor in a small Arkansas town, was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When he was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was 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 and be cleansed of impure urges, stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with such a harrowing and brutal journey, Conley found the strength to break out in search of his true self and find the power to forgive himself and his environment. In Boy Erased: A Memoir, he confronts his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, and traces his complex relationships with his family, faith, and community.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Reserved parking is available in the Library Lot. For more information, call 585-275-4461.
Sponsored by Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Endowment and the River Campus Libraries.
Tuesday, March 13 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Rush Rhees Library, Hawkins-Carlson Room
755 Library Road, Rochester, NY 14626