In the new movie Boy Erased (in theaters November 2) Lucas Hedges portrays Jared Eamons, the gay son of a Baptist preacher who is sent to conversion therapy when he comes out to his parents. Hedges plays the role so convincingly, you'd think he's had similar experiences. But while Hedges may never have gone through conversion therapy — which uses scare tactics, manipulation, guilt, and sometimes electric shocks to attempt to make someone straight — he does know what it's like to be not-straight in a heteronormative world.
Hedges appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show Tuesday, and explained that he identifies as sexually fluid. "I went to a progressive liberal arts school my whole life and in 6th grade I had a health teacher who presented the idea of sexuality existing on a spectrum," he said. "It's not really that you exist 100% one thing or 100% the other, and from that moment on I always identified myself as existing within that spectrum." Hedges said that he doesn't believe sexuality is as simple as many people make it out to be.
This isn't the first time Hedges has opened up about his sexual orientation. In an interview with Vulture in September, the Lady Bird actor said: "I felt ashamed that I wasn’t 100%, because it was clear that one side of sexuality presents issues, and the other doesn’t as much. I recognize myself as existing on that spectrum: Not totally straight, but also not gay and not necessarily bisexual." He said in the interview that sexuality is complicated and confusing.
And he's right. Sexuality is complicated. Some people argue that we all fall somewhere in the middle of totally straight and totally gay, because everyone has the ability to find someone of any gender attractive. But the world may not be ready to consider that possibility yet, considering that conversion camps like the one portrayed in Boy Erased still exist.