Boy Erased: 6 tips for dealing with the movie's confronting themes

There’s a lot of buzz around Joel Edgerton’s new film, Boy Erased, where the son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program. It’s based on a true story and covers some pretty intense themes around sexuality, identity, conversion therapy, family conflict and suicide. Despite positive reviews for how it handles these issues, the film could leave you feeling angry, frustrated and upset, if you choose to watch it.

Here’s how to manage some of those feelings if they come up.

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With an intense movie like this, it’s hard to know how you might react. What might be okay one day, may just mess with your head another day.

Watch the trailer first, and take a moment to check in with yourself before deciding whether it’s the right thing for you at that time.

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If you’re worried about how you might feel, see it with a supportive mate so you can chat about your feelings and reactions afterwards.

If you want to see it but are worried it might hit a bit close to home, wait for it to be released on iTunes or DVD and watch it at home, where you can take a break if it gets too much.

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Feeling all the feels can leave you pretty drained. Take some time out afterwards to look after yourself.

Do something that makes you feel good – go for a walk, chat to a friend, have a cup of tea, or even binge-watch something fun (Drag Race, anyone?).

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This is a great opportunity to connect with Australia’s strong and vibrant queer community.

Search for any LGBTQI-specific events in your local area and connect online through the ReachOut Forums or YouTube.

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Try just to ignore people IRL or online who are stirring up negative chat.

Take a break from news and social media if you need to, and spend time with the people in your life who support you.

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If the movie triggers traumatic memories or flashbacks, it might be important to get professional support.

There are great LGBTQI support services and culturally specific services that can help, or you can always have a chat to your GP.

What can I do now?

  • Check out Dibs' story about coming out.

  • Chat to other young people who get it on our forums.

  • Find out about LGBTQI support services.