News Round-Up: February 5, 2019

(image via Instagram/Johnny.Desperado)

Some news items you might have missed:

• I love Wrangler jeans. And the outdoors. And cowboy hats.. And, hold on, something else, it’s coming to me… 🙂

• The movie Boy Erased, based on Garrard Conley’s real-life journey through so-called ‘conversion therapy’ will not be released in Brazil. Universal Pictures says the film won’t be released due to ‘financial reasons.’ The South American country recently elected openly-homophobic Jair Bolsonaro as president.

• If you ever wondered EXACTLY what it’s like to be bullied at school as a young boy, before he’s even figured out who he is, please read this by my talented friend, David Toussaint. Definitely worth the read.

ABC News: An investigation by a government watchdog organization shows President Donald Trump’s four trips to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida over four weeks in March and February 2017, including his summit with the Japanese prime minister, cost the government nearly $14 million.

• Opera singer David Daniels and his husband Scott Walters, were arrested Tuesday over allegations of rape by baritone Samuel Schultz in 2010. Schultz, who told police he was drugged and raped in 2010, came forward with the allegation in August.

• Texas political phenom Beto O’Rourke gave Oprah “a strong signal” he is seriously considering a 2020 run for the White House.

• A seven year-old boy in Wisconsin was beaten, tortured and buried in the snow until he died of hypothermia for not knowing his Bible verses.

• Pet Shop Boys drop their first single, “Give Stupidity a Chance”, from their upcoming EP Agenda (release date April 12).

Neil Tennant describes the track as “a satirical song about the poor quality of political leadership in the modern world.”

“Chicks are always up for it / You’ve got to grab whatever you can / We need a leader who knows money means class / With an eye for a peach-perfect piece of ass”

Check out the lyric video below.

Haunting New Ballad “Revelation” By Troye Sivan & Jónsi From Upcoming Film ‘Boy Erased’

“Revelation,” the first single from the soundtrack of the upcoming movie Boy Erased, has been released and it’s everything you want it to be.

Revelation,” the hauntingly beautiful single from the soundtrack of the upcoming movie Boy Erased, has been released and it’s everything you want it to be.

The film, based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.

Boy Erased tells the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith.

The track, a collaboration between Australian pop star Troye Sivan (who’s also featured in the movie) and Icelandic musician Jónsi (best known for Sigur Rós), is a sensitive and touching ballad.

You’re a revelation
Won’t you liberate me now
From a holy world
You’re a revolution
I will liberate you now
As the walls come down

It’s a rocky road to say
“Maybe I won’t go”
‘Cause hey dear, you’re a wrecking ball
And you’re here crushing all I’m told

Ever I roam
Ever I roam
Further from home
Your hand I hold

During a recent tour stop in New York City where he performed the song live, Sivan shared that the evolution of the song was inspired by a scene in the film.

“It’s this one moment of relief in the film.,” says Sivan. “It’s this one really sweet, tender moment where Jared does something that I would consider pure and beautiful and normal and romantic.”

“He has that experience and the sky doesn’t fall down on him,” he explains. “The world doesn’t come crashing down, and it’s a ‘revelation’ to him. That person that he was with is a revolution to him, and it was just so inspiring. So, we started with these lyrics of ‘you’re a revelation, you’re a revolution’.”

Boy Erased lands in theaters November 2. Hit the play button below to hear “Revelation.”

‘Boy Erased’ Star Lucas Hedges: “Not Totally Straight, But Also Not Gay”

Lucas Hedges in “Boy Erased”

Lucas Hedges is one of the busiest young actors of his generation following his Oscar nominated turn in 2016’s Manchester by the Sea, standout performances in high-profile films Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and now his first lead role in Joel Edgerton’s highly anticipated Boy Erased.

Boy Erased chronicles the real life story of Gerrard Conley, whose parents (played in the film by Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) sent him to ‘conversion therapy’ upon discovering their teen child was gay.

In a new interview with Vulture, Hedges (currently in rehearsals for the Broadway revival of The Waverly Gallery) opens up about his own perceived sense of sexuality. And, like many, he finds himself somewhere on a ‘spectrum’ rather than a specific label.

In approaching the story of Gerrard Conley, Hedges says he saw the film as “a story about shame.”

“I recognized that sense of anticipating and waiting for anyone and everyone to be like, ‘There’s something wrong with you,’ ” he says. “It’s a story about shame, which felt to me like the governing factor of my life and my childhood.”

The 21-year-old goes on to share a childhood episode from third grade when he told his mother he had a crush on a boy at day camp.

“I felt terrible about it,” Hedges tells Vulture. “I remember her being very comforting, and she understood that something was distressing me, and she said, ‘You don’t have to go back to camp today.’ ”

With the release of Boy Erased on the horizon, Hedges is plainly aware that his own sexuality will be a topic in interviews.

“I owe it to this part to speak as honestly as possible,” Hedges says. “In the early stages of my life, some of the people I was most infatuated with were my closest male friends. That was the case through high school, and I think I was always aware that while for the most part I was attracted to women, I existed on a spectrum.”

While third graders may not distill the concept of sexual attraction, Hedges does recall a teacher during sixth grade speaking to sexuality as something that may exist across a broad range instead of a 100% label of straight or gay.

“I felt ashamed that I wasn’t 100 percent, because it was clear that one side of sexuality presents issues, and the other doesn’t as much,” he says. “I recognize myself as existing on that spectrum: Not totally straight, but also not gay and not necessarily bisexual.”

Look for Boy Erased in theaters November 2. And you can check out the trailer for the film below.

New Trailer For “Boy Erased” Packs A Visceral Punch

The trailer for the upcoming drama, Boy Erased, which chronicles a teen’s journey through the harmful process of so-called “conversion therapy,’ has been released and it delivers on a deeply visceral level.

Directed by Joel Edgerton, the movie is based on the 2016 memoir by Garrard Conley, and stars Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges as “Jared,” the 19-year-old son of a Baptist pastor played by Academy Award winner, Russell Crowe.

Outed to his religious parents, Jared is given the choice of attending an “ex-gay” therapy camp to be “cured” of his homosexuality, or face being shunned and disowned by his family.

Boy Erased is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity,” reads the official synopsis.

Lucas Hedges and Théodore Pellerin in Boy Erased (2018) – image via Focus Pictures

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly this past May, Edgerton shared, “The film satisfies the dramatic and salacious stuff that interested me, but it also had an emotional resonance to it that I felt didn’t just make it a dark and nihilistic story.”

“Garrard’s story is so full of redemption,” added Edgerton. “My approach and treatment of this story was that there were no villains, that everyone thought they were doing the right thing.”

In addition to Hedges and Crowe, the film stars Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman as Jared’s mother, and Aussie out singer Troye Sivan in a supporting role.

Sivan has also contributed a new original song, “Revelation,” for the soundtrack.

“Conversion therapy” has been banned from being performed on minors in 13 states plus the District of Columbia, as well as over 30 cities and municipalities.

The practice has been condemned by the American Medical Association, the American Pediatrics Association, the American Psychiatric Association and many others due to its disastrous effects which can lead to depression and, in some cases, suicide.

Boy Erased arrives in theaters November 2.