According to an article released yesterday by Bloody Disgusting, Gunpowder & Sky has teamed up with YOMYOMF and Nonetheless Productions to create an LGBTQ horror film set in the terrifying world of conversion therapy. The film, titled Moonshadow, was written by Ernesto Foronda and Daniel Foerste (The Station) and will be directed by Silas Howard (Pose).
The script, which is based on Foerste’s own experiences with conversion therapy, tells the story of transgender teen sent to a “science-based” conversion therapy camp by his parents. The twist to this horrific tale is just what those kids at the camp are being converted into.
The horrors of LGBTQ conversion therapy are all too real to many teens, especially here in the U.S. A report released earlier this year by the Williams Institute of UCLA estimates that nearly 700,000 have gone through some form of conversion therapy in their lives and half of that number experienced this harmful, archaic practice while still adolescents.
The report went on to say that in the year 2018 an estimated 20,000 teenagers would be subjected to conversion therapy by a licensed health care professional and an additional 57,000 would be forced into similar conversion techniques led by a religious or spiritual adviser.
The methods used by these medical practitioners and religious leaders include a variety of techniques, though some can more aptly be called torture, such as electroshock, behavior modification, regular therapy sessions, and in some cases, by treating LGBTQ identity as an addiction.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, those who go through conversion therapies are eight times more likely to attempt suicide, six times more likely to suffer from depression, three times more likely to become addicted to drugs, and three times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and other STDs. Sadly, conversion therapy is only illegal in 14 states and in the District of Columbia at this time.
What’s more, with the current administration threatening to roll back protections for LGBTQ citizens, and its emphasis especially with transgender Americans of late, Moonshadow seems like a timely tale to tell, especially as a horror film. It also finds itself in good company with the more mainstream release Boy Erased, another film about conversion therapy, starring Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman set to hit theaters this month.
With both a trans director and a trans co-writer working on the project, it seems that Moonshadow is off to a good start, and we here at iHorror will be keeping tabs on the film’s progress for future updates!