Based on the true story of 15-year-old Alex Cooper who, when she revealed she was gay to her devout Mormon parents, they feared so deeply for her soul that they took her from their Southern California home and placed her against her will in a conversion therapy home in Utah. Trapped for eight months with strangers, Alex faced horrible punishments and beatings that were intended to cure her homosexuality.
Tropes provide examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Alex's, as well as the Simms.
- Adults Are Useless: Most adults from Alex's parents to the Police. They all know what the Simms do and how they're doing it, they simply do not care.
- Artistic License Religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) is vehemently against conversion therapy. Members of the church are directed to not participate in in such horrific practices against our LGBTQ members.
- Butch Lesbian: Alex's love interest Frankie who has a short haircut.
- The Cassandra: Alex whenever she tries to ask for help. The people she asks either don't believe her or else are homophobes themselves and don't care as long as she gets "cured".
- Crusading Lawyer: One of these, Paul C. Burke, gets Alex free of the Simms and her parents in the end. He has since become a part of Alex's extended family.
- Cure Your Gays: The whole plot. When Alex comes out to her parents (who are Mormons) the first thing they do is send her to a gay conversion therapy prison.
- Driven to Suicide: Alex attempted suicide after months trapped with the Simms. Thankfully, she fails. More Truth in Television as this is sadly common for victims of conversion therapy.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After much hardship and a 6 month court battle, Alex wins her freedom from the Simms and her homphobic Parents. According to the ending message, they have reconnected since then.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Conversion therapy. As every real medical professional, and most people on the street, knows it simply does not work, has never worked and can never work.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Alex, who dresses femininely and has long locks of hair.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Carol Lynn, one of the only adults in her life who does everything she can to help Alex. She eventually gets Alex sanctuary at the local Youth Crisis Center.
- Special shout out to the Buss Driver who takes Alex away from the Simms and to school in the middle of the night no questions asked.
- Truth in Television: Alex Cooper is a real woman who was forced into conversion therapy at age 15.
- So-called "Conversion Therapy" is accurately portrayed in the film in all its horror and abuse. As of 2019, 33 state still permit this treatment of children.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Simms in particular, but forced conversion therapy of minors is pretty much just this.