Braden's upcoming memoir will be the story of his personal journey experiencing adolescent life with no father-figure, discovering and accepting his sexual-identity, falling in love for the first time, combating spiritual demons (on Earth and in his mind), being a victim of gay conversion therapy, and most importantly, becoming the confident, successful gay man he is today.
According the UCLA Williams Institute, more than 700,000 LGBTQ people have been victims of gay conversion therapy, and an estimated 80,000 LGBTQ+ youth will experience this unprofessional conduct in coming years, often at the insistence of well-intentioned but misinformed parents. Furthermore, only 15 states, in addition to Washington, D.C., currently ban conversion therapy for minors, leaving other LBGTQ+ community members whom live in the other 35 states susceptible to forever-damaging behavioral, cognitive, and psychoanalytic practices. Forty percent of the LGBTQ+ population lives in states that have laws banning conversion therapy for minors, while the remaining 60% live in states with no laws banning conversion therapy for minors.
Having been a victim of gay conversion therapy, Braden personally knows the struggles one goes through on multiple levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Everyday for many years, questions played on a continuous loop in his head.
Why is God allowing this to happen to me?
Do I deserve to live on this Earth? Should I just kill myself?
Am I an embarrassment to my family? Would they be happier if I wasn’t around?
Will I spend the rest of my life alone?
Eventually, he learned to trust God. Eventually, he learned that God had placed a beautiful challenge in his life, and it was his choice what to do with it -- cower and let societal norms take precedence over his own life’s desires, or rise to the occasion, accept the challenge as a blessing, and make it his life’s mission to ensure all members of the LGBTQ+ community are safe, loved, and designed as a part of God’s plan.
Braden's Memoir will be approximately 65,000 words and can be completed in 8 to 12 months. All proceeds will be directly donated to benefit The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading organization in providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people under 25.