A new Netflix documentary
examining the origins of the reparative therapy movement, also known as "gay conversion" therapy, is set to premiere next month.
The streaming service released
for “Pray Away,” which is produced by Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions and will be released on Aug. 3. The film follows the rise and fall of Exodus International
, a Florida-based Christian ministry that claimed to offer a “cure” for same-sex attraction for nearly 40 years before closing in 2013.
has been discredited by the American Medical Association
, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and 20 U.S. states
have legislation in place prohibiting the practice on minors. As “Pray Away” shows, many of the leaders once involved with Exodus International later came out as LGBTQ
and condemned the practice.
The trailer for "Pray Away" can be seen below.
Following a postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic
, “Pray Away” had its world premiere last month at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.
In a 2020 interview
, director Kristine Stolakis stated that her uncle, who came out as transgender
as a child
and later underwent conversion therapy, was a major inspiration for “Pray Away.”
“He spent his lifetime believing that being straight and cisgender was the only way to be psychologically healthy and spiritually accepted,” she explained on the blog Women
. “It wasn’t until I discovered leaders of the movement, people
who claimed that they had themselves changed from gay to straight and were teaching others to do the same, that I understood the depth of his hope and his resurgence.”
“There is a lot of motivation to believe change is possible when you believe you are doing the right thing, and when you are taught that the only way to be accepted in your family
, community, and society at large is to be straight and cisgender,” she added.
The conversion therapy movement was depicted in the 2018 drama "Boy Erased," starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe, and actors Bowen Yang
and Alyson Stoner
have recently spoken about their childhood experiences with conversion therapy.