Chloë Grace Moretz’s gay conversion therapy film wins Sundance grand jury prize
Chloë Grace Moretz’s new film has been awarded the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows Moretz’s title character, who gets caught having sex with the school prom queen and is sent away to a gay conversion therapy camp by her conservative aunt and uncle.
The actress used her time on the red carpet at the film’s premiere to speak about harsh realities of gay conversion camps in America.
Moretz told AFP: “The (Trump) administration actually completely believes in conversion therapy.
“Mike Pence tried to get it state-funded when he was Senator, so it is a very real problem,” she continued.
Nine states – New Jersey, California, Oregon, Vermont, Illinois, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada – and Washington DC all ban gay conversion therapy.
Bills to ban people from being able to practice the ‘therapy’ on children are pending in another 16 states, but the remaining 25 do not have any rules in place to stop it.
A study last week found that as things stand, 20,000 LGBT teens will undergo gay cure therapy before they’re 18.
Forrest Goodluck, who plays Navajo two-spirited male Sam in the film, said: “This 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.”
Whilst at the camp, Cameron bonds with Sam and his one-legged friend Jane Fonda (not a typo) over weed and stories about how terrible the religious fanatics and psychologists who run the camp are.
Jennifer Ehle, who plays the lead therapist Lydia Marsh, said: “It was quite a (task) to try to find a way to play her without demonising her, to really focus on how much she really does feel she cares and really does believe she is helping.”
In the film, her character tries to convince the patients that their homosexuality is a result of gender confusion and an affliction similar to drug addiction.
John Gallagher Jr. said that while playing his character of Reverend Rick, he realised that the people running conversion camps weren’t just straightforward villains.
“He himself has gone through the therapy so now he’s teaching the kids, saying, ‘You can have this happy life too if you just follow the steps like I did,” said the actor.
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Like many of the cast members, Gallagher was completely unaware that conversion camps were still such a big issue.
“It’s good for a film to get out there and remind people that this is a thing that is still happening in the shadows and we have to bring it out in the light, talk about it, and hopefully eradicate it for good,” he said.
Moretz has previously been very vocal about LGBT topics.
This includes speaking out about the bullying her gay brothers had endured.
She’s also expressed her views on the concept that LGBT people shouldn’t have to come out.