NETFLIX has dropped the first trailer for the Ryan Murphy documentary about a look into the horrifying 'ex-gay' movement.
Pray Away follows the rise and fall of of Exodus International, a group founded in the 1970s by five members of an evangelical church who said gay people can “pray away” their homosexuality to become straight.
Murphy – known for American Horror Story, Pose and Glee – produced the powerful documentary alongside Jason Blum and lifts the lid on the movement that sparked gay conversion therapy globally.
Kristine Stolakis directed Pray Away which speaks to many 'faces of the movement' who have discredited conversion therapy as harmful and since come out as LGBTIQA+.
The documentary explores Exodus' "legacy of profound harm" and the trailer opens with those claiming they were converted speaking on talk shows in the 1970s and 80s.
One person interviewed says in the trailer: "A voice inside me said, 'How could you do that to your own people?'"
While another described conversion therapy as "awful, pseudo psychology."
The World Health Organisation slammed therapies which aim to "cure" people based on their sexuality or gender identity.
It has said they "lack medical justification" and can cause a "serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people."
The documentary's poster features a closeup of a person's face with tape over their mouth in the shape of a cross, and a newspaper headline about Exodus.
Due to be released at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2020 but delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pray Away will drop on Netflix on August 3.
Early reviews have heaped praise on the film with the Hollywood Reporter describing it as a "sobering account of Christian intervention rooted in toxic homophobia".
"Kristine Stolakis' film debut is a primer for pain/suffering that is totally unnecessary, if only humans could accept orientation in our fellow travellers and not live in fear," wrote Hollywood Chicago.
Stolakis herself thanked all the people who shared their story for Pray Away.
"I am so proud of this documentary and our film team, and so grateful for every person who shared their story to make Pray Away possible," Stolakis said.
Fans reacted in horror to the trailer, with one saying "it made me cry."
"Yet to this day, there are still people who believe this can work and still pushing it," wrote one fan on YouTube.
Another added: "As a Trans woman, I've been through conversion therapy and I have PTSD from that experience.. I really don't know if I'll be able to watch this movie…"
And a third said: "Epic story, and the right time and people to tell it. Can't wait to see it."
The UK government announced a move to ban conversion therapy during the Queen's Speech in May this year.
But LGBTIQA+ campaigners were disappointed when the government decided to hold a public consultation process on the issue before banning the discredited therapy.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government said plans would be brought forward to prevent the "abhorrent practices which can cause mental and physical harm."
Theresa May first promised to outlaw the move three years ago, and ministers have been accused of dragging their feet.
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