Are straight directors qualified to tell gay stories on screen? The Australian actor-director Joel Edgerton didn’t think he was. At least, not when first reading Boy Erased: A Memoir, Garrard Conley’s account of his childhood experiences in gay conversion therapy. He knew it would make a compelling film, but he didn’t believe he was best placed to do it.
“I was like: fuck, this would be a great movie and I would love to be the one to do it. But I don’t think I can, simply because I’m not of the LGBTQ community,” he says. “I’d really started to think in the last couple of years a lot about representation – mainly in front of the screen.”