Film Review Script

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The Sunday Sessions is a fantastic documentary by director Richard Yeagley that paints a tragic portrait of a gay man, Nathan, who tries to go from gay-to-straight with the help of “ex-gay” conversion therapist Christopher Doyle.*

The first thing that jumps out in The Sunday Sessions is the creepy obsession with balls. Apparently, gay men don’t have any and the purpose of conversion therapy is for therapist to help the gay client find them. The next thing you notice is the psychologically damaging attempt to correct speech patterns or mannerisms that are deemed too feminine.

To further correct the effeminate behavior, the client is introduced to series of masculine activities. The clients are required to play sports and then encouraged to react with contrived and exaggerated displays of enthusiasm – laughably mimicking how they believe straight men behave.

Next, the program degenerates into a series of weird techniques designed to help the client delve into the past to allegedly figure out the roots of their sexual orientation.

When conversion therapy begins the goals are clear – and there is an air of hope, with unambiguous goals.

Perhaps the most jarring part of the Sunday Sessions, is the painful juxtaposition of Christopher Doyle’s bravado on television about his success, and the suffering and failure endured by his featured client, Nathan, in real life.

After wasting more than two years of his life in therapy, Nathan slowly comes to the heartbreaking realization that he was sold false hope. He’s not on a journey to heterosexuality – as he was told – but on a stationary bike pedaling in place and going nowhere fast.

In the throes of melancholy Nathan goes to what he calls a dark place. He only emerges from his despair after a unique religious experience. In the end, Nathan is still as gay as ever. He’s not the slightest bit heterosexual. But, because of his religious epiphany and homophobic upbringing he’s still trying.

Unfortunately, the whole experience seems to have left Nathan more desperate, bitter, frustrated and angry. At Truth Wins Out, we hope Nathan will one day be true to himself – and feel comfortable and happy as a gay man.

Check out The Sunday Sessions, a cinematic triumph that captures the true essence of conversion therapy – and why it should be banned in every state as dangerous and ineffective quackery.

*Christopher Doyle is infamous once writing in his biography: “I tried to have sex with the little girls that my mother watched in her daycare, and eventually, one of the girls told her parents what I was doing. The shame that was placed on me by my parents was more than I could bear.”