Supergirl Actor Says His Cousin Is Trapped At An Anti-Gay Boarding School

Photo: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock.
Update: The founder and executive director of Heartlight Ministries denies Jordan's claims that his cousin Sarah is being held at the school or undergoing conversion therapy. "The assertion that this teen was held at Heartlight Ministries against her will, or that Heartlight provides any 'treatment' services for sexual identity, are categorically untrue." Mark Gregston said in a statement to People. He added that Sarah is no longer at the residential facility, but would be welcomed with open arms should she choose to return.
Meanwhile, Sarah's mother claims in a court filing obtained by local paper Austin American-Statesman that Sarah was placed at Heartlight not because she was gay — but so she could be “in a therapeutic setting to help her with issues of depression, self-harm, drug use, and behavioral issues.” Sarah's mother told the paper, "I has nothing to do with her sexuality.”
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This story was originally published at 10:45 a.m.
Actor Jeremy Jordan is campaigning for help to rescue his cousin Sarah from what he says is an anti-gay Christian boarding school in East Texas. According to the GoFundMe page Jordan launched, the 17-year-old girl was placed in the remote facility by her parents "to help 'pray the gay away.'" He describes the facility as "a place where the fact that she is gay is treated as a sin and an illness." And Jordan states that in Texas, it is legal for parents to force children under 18 to stay in a residential boarding facility. Sarah's aunt hired a lawyer to fight for Sarah's release; the fundraising is to cover the legal fees.
"I can't believe beautiful, smart, incredible kids like my cousin Sarah are still being told that being gay is wrong," the Supergirl actor wrote in one of several impassioned Facebook appeals. "But it's worse than that for Sarah... She's been placed at a remote boarding facility to help 'pray away the gay' for a year with no communication to the outside world. She may not be able to see it now, but please show her how much she matters and take a stand to help us free this wonderful young woman and welcome her back to a world of love and acceptance."
According to Jordan, Sarah's parents "believe that homosexuality is a sin and abnormal." He says that Sarah is not permitted visitors or any contact with the outside world at the school — and forced to endure Bible "therapy" and hard labor. As he notes, gay conversion is not only ineffective but incredibly psychologically damaging.
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The actor has also taken to Twitter to spread the word. "It BREAKS MY HEART this sweet young girl who's only 'issue' is loving another girl has been sent to a facility for "troubled teens,'" he wrote in a series of tweets. "News flash, folks, there's nothing wrong with her." This type of conversion therapy has to END!!" he wrote in another tweet. Jordan is grateful for the outpouring of support he and his cousin have already received from fans. "The continued support from all u incredible, compassionate folks brings tears to my eyes," he wrote. As of Thursday morning, the GoFundMe campaign has raised $57,000 of its $100,000 goal.
The New Civil Rights Movement, a GLAAD award-winning media organization spotlighting LGBT issues, has confirmed that the facility in question is Heartlight Ministries Boarding School in Hallsville, Texas. Heartlight describes itself as "a destination for teens to heal and grow" and a
"residential setting [that] offers struggling teens an atmosphere to develop healthier patterns during the most troubling times." The school has not responded to requests for comment from NCRM. We will update this post as more information emerges.
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