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Archive for June, 2017


Boy Erased Becomes Movie

Friday, June 23rd, 2017


boy erased penguin group


I’m happy to announce that Boy Erased will soon become a full feature film!


A year ago a new book was released called “Boy Erased.” It’s a memoire written by Garrard Conley. The basic premise of the story stems from Garrard’s childhood being one where he was raised in a conservative Baptist home and how this impacted him being a young gay boy. The story continues to include him being outed and his parents sending him to Love In Action’s two-week program to attempt to change his sexuality.


When this book first came out, I felt embarrassed because of the negative connotation that could be derived from Garrard’s words about the program I led for almost two decades. As I processed my personal feelings and reactions to the book I realized that his story uncovers things that were painful for him, harmful for his development as a young man and that his story needed to be told.


A month ago I was contacted by Garrard to invite me to participate in a conference call. The meeting would involve a discussion about a film production company that was planning on making a movie about Garrard’s book. I was certainly willing to talk with them so the call was arranged.


The script has been written by a very successful actor/screenwriter Joel Edgerton. I have been asked to be a consultant to the film production. Without hesitation, I was willing to fulfill that role. I’m encouraged that they have asked me to be involved with the process because it shows me that they are truly interested in receiving input. Joel assured me that they are committed to a film that does not make a villain out of God, or anyone else that has been involved in Garrard’s life and experience.


As a part of my own integrity and desire to make amends wherever they are needed and appropriate, it is my privilege to be part of the production team for this movie.


The film will be produced by Anonymous ContentFocus Features has acquired worldwide rights to “Boy Erased” and the production is on a fast track and plans are made to begin filming this fall with a 2018 release.


boy-erased-joel-edgerton-lucas-hedges-nicole-kidman-russell-croweBoy Erased will be a quality production with highly desirable actors such as Lucas Hedges (Jared), Russell Crow (Garrard’s dad), Nicole Kidman (Garrard’s Mom) and Joel Edgerton will play the ministry director (my role).


There will be upcoming reports and announcements so stay tuned.




 

A Mom’s Heartbreaking Decision – Her son, or God?

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017


Religion. For some it’s a resting place. For others it’s a structure to maintain security. For many, it’s a roller coaster of life experience. But for far too many, its bondage.


The love this mom has for her son is evident. She has loved him for his entire lifetime and never knew she’d be facing this terrible dilemma. God vs. loving my son.


stanStan Mitchell, pastor at GracePointe Church in Franklin Tennessee, posted on FaceBook about a divine appointment he experienced while attending the Southern Baptist Convention. These are his words:

Just spent a very stealth & quiet 5 minutes with a Southern Baptist pastor’s wife whose husband happens to pastor a large church a few hundred miles from Nashville.


Their son who is gay, now lives in our beloved City of Music and, lately, has been visiting GRACEPOINTE. She wept as she explained that of their four children, he was the most beautiful of spirit, the kindest, the most loving (she was obviously troubled by the reality that she simply could not capture his beauty with her hurried and pained words) and yet, and yet, they destroyed him with their faith. Destroyed him.


I will never forget and forever will be inspired by her request:

“Love him for us. Love him the way he deserves. Love him the way we should have. Tell him what I wanted to and couldn’t.”


My heart broke. I couldn’t tell for whom it broke more – mom or son. I told her there was still time and opportunity for her to do this. She looked dubiously around the foyer of the hotel, teeming with her husband’s ministerial peers, and said with the saddest of eyes, “Please love him.” And she walked away. I have scarcely met a sadder human. Trapped. My chest physically hurt.


Sigh. Tears.


If there is a heaven, it will have to be a place where mothers and fathers fall on their gay and transgendered children’s shoulders and say, “I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry.” And it will be enough. I hope it will be enough. Please, sweetest Christ, make it enough.


I know who I will be looking for after church this Sunday.


While the details I’m writing may not be factual based on this mom’s experience, they ring true for many.


You see she was taught that homosexuality was an abomination. She believed it was sinful, a choice, and that if continued her son would never be able to be a faithful Christian if he followed his flesh. She feared that without repentance, he may be suffer the fires of hell.


She was also taught that her husband was her leader, her earthly priest. She believed that God’s plan was that he’d be the head of the household and that God would give him wisdom for leading their family.


Throughout her childhood, her family church had pastors that she also believed had a special anointing from God to shepherd the flock around her. She trusted his words and his insights. Now, her husband is also her pastor.


Her heart tells her to love her son. Her religion tells her to follow her husband, her pastor, and her lifelong beliefs.


She has nowhere to turn because her husband doesn’t want to talk about it and she fears her friends will think she’s a bad mom and that she didn’t raise her children right.


So, in this select moment she sees a pastor that others consider reprobate, a false teacher and someone who has lost his mind in exchange for his feelings. But she’s heard he’s kind and gracious with gay people. She’d heard that his church accepts them right where they are and that he’s spoken of God’s love for them. Who else can she trust with this deep anguish in her heart?


She’s given her son up – for adoption – by this church. She realizes she can’t be the mom her heart would lead her to be so with her arms reaching out and her heart broken, she asks this man to be the surrogate parent, “Love my son.”


She is accountable. She has relinquished her own mind, her own heart, and her own responsibility to love her son. She doesn’t believe she can, and she’s far too afraid of the consequences if she does. Ask any mom who has gone through this what they had to do to honor their heart. The choice may be temporarily costly, the rewards are everlasting.


This, my friends is a crying shame! This is a horrible and ungodly situation. I’m furious! I’m really angry that any religion would bring someone to exchange their own minds for the opinions or teaching of someone else’s thoughts. It hurts terribly that a marriage would come to a place where one partner would defer so much to the other that they’d give up their own child to a presumed leadership requirement. It grieves me terribly that any friend, or fellow church member would reject, torment, or even hate a mom who chooses to love their child in the manner they deem right.


However, I’m thrilled, heartened, and thankful that there are people who are willing to think for themselves, follow their god given hearts, and who listen to the heartbeat of a loving God – as Stan Mitchell is doing.


I’m not surprised that in this moment in time, this Southern Baptist, Preachers’ wife, mom, has run across Stan at the SBC convention. Stan has chosen to go to this event if for no other reason than for this moment, with this mom, for this reason.


Please, for God’s sake, follow your heart. Listen to your own soul. God is in and through all things and God is speaking to you, right where it counts, in your heart. Drown out the voices of control, the voices of shame, the voices of condemnation – for they do not speak for God.


We have got to get this! For far too many years ignorance has been the controlling factor. We know better now. We have to do what is right.


Here’s a story of a mom who’s been there, and who is now affirming of her son.


Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.31.22 AMFrom Liz Dyer:

I have a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ+ kids. We have more than 1,400 moms in the group and continue to grow. The group was especially created for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ+ kids. One thing we often discuss among ourselves is how we reconcile our Christian faith with supporting and affirming our LGBTQ+ kids. My own journey of reconciliation was one of the main things that led me to create Serendipitydodah for Moms. Here is the short version (Click here) of how I reconciled my faith with being affirming. This process took place between one and two years.