Living... the life of an ideal preacher’s son in Arkansas. Or at least he was. For most of his life, Jared was the apple of his parents’ eye. Yet everything changes when an anonymous phone call leads Jared’s parents to suspect that he might be gay.
Visiting... “Love In Action,” a gay conversion therapy program. After admitting that he’s attracted to men, Jared agrees to attend an outpatient program designed to rid people of the “sin” of homosexual thoughts. Yet while the Love In Action counselors claim they want to help, the poorly organized, often hostile program isn’t at all what Jared expected
Profession... college student. Or at least he was before his detour to Love In Action. Now Jared’s future hangs in the balance as the program threatens to derail his life plans completely.
Interests... video games, basketball, and writing.
Relationship Status... the source of so many of his problems. After breaking up with his high school girlfriend and having some very complicated experiences in college, Jared is trying to figure out his sexuality separate from all the baggage it carries in his community and his church.
Challenge... making it through the Love In Action program. Initially, Jared wants to give the program a chance and see if its methods can be effective. Once he’s there, however, he starts to question not only the program’s techniques, but also its fundamental aims. Jared slowly begins to realize that he’s not actually the one who has anything to feel ashamed about. As he puts it, “I wish none of this had ever happened. But sometimes, I thank God that it did.”
Personality... caring, smart, and protective. A natural people-pleaser, Jared’s not one to cause a stir. He wants the best for everyone around him, and he’s even willing to sacrifice some of his own personal happiness to try to make his parents’ lives easier. Yet he also has a strong internal sense of right and wrong, and a willingness to stand up for those around him. Jared has an insightful, empathetic perspective on the world; he just needs to figure out how to use his voice to help himself and others.
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