Days after Alex Cooper told her parents she was gay, they drove Alex from their home in Southern California to Utah, where they signed over guardianship to fellow Mormons who promised to save Alex from her homosexuality.
For eight harrowing months, Alex was held captive in an unlicensed "residential treatment program" modeled on the many "therapeutic" boot camps scattered across Utah. Alex was physically and verbally abused and forced to stand facing a wall for up to 18 hours a day wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. "God's plan does not apply to gay people," her captors told her, using faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex would eventually escape and make legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law's protection as an openly gay teenager.
Saving Alex is a horrific yet uplifting story of identity, faith, courage, acceptance, and freedom that reveals what happens when religion goes too far and how a group of dedicated Americans and one young woman fought for her rights, including finding the strength and courage to be herself, and how her story has inspired countless others along the way.
©2016 Alexandra Cooper (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
"I'm a Christian straight, divorced man, with 2 kids that lives in the heart of the Bible Belt.... Alabama"
I enjoy reading/ listening books about things I know nothing about. As stated above, I'm a Christian who has battled drug and alcohol abuse. Having been clean for 4 years now, I am still labeled. So this book intrigued me because I wanted to see what being labeled from another point of view was like, the things others went through. It is a great book! I had no clue the struggles the gay community goes through. This book made me a better person!
As members of the LDS church, when we hear horror stories like this we must shout from the rooftops. Until members pressure the leaders to develop a modern understanding of psychological development in teenagers, especially LGBT youth, these tragedies will continue. The church needs to transition from feelings based morals to data driven ethics. When LGBT teens are often abused this way and the data mounts against doctrine, it's time to alter our conclusions about God's rules concerning homosexuality. LDS leaders have been wrong and have altered the doctrine so often, we should expect changes when the evidence becomes overwhelming. Embrace being part of making positive change; speak up to LDS leadership to change the hurtful doctrine and help heal the damage that's already been done.
Hard to believe this horrible treatment is still happening to this community! Good for her in having the courage to take a stand for herself at such a young age.
This is a very harrowing story, one that "reads" like a suspense novel.
Alex, for her determination and sense of self.
Alex and her lawyer. Both great-- and real, obviously-- characters.
Alex's parents yelling at her to get out of the house when she came out as gay.
Listen to this. You'll find yourself speaking aloud in horror at certain moments!
I've not really read many autobiographies, and those that I have, have generally been fairly sappy inspirational ones, hardship on the scale described by Alex, is something a little bit alien to my reading/listening experience...
I'm still clenching my jaw after finishing the book, and I'm still feeling happier about the ending, but more than anything, I'm just glad I had the chance to read the story of someone so strong, and inspiring.
When Alex started getting strong for the first time, there was a time I got sad she had been beaten down and stopped trying to escape, and I thought about what I would have done in her shoes, but I realised, I'm 33 years old reading this, and when I was 15 I didn't have a fraction of the strength, or creativity she had back then, but when she began getting stronger, it brought tears to my eyes...
I've been half joking while reading, that it's a good thing I don't have a time machine, because if I did after reading this book, I'd be heading back to expose Joseph Smith as a fraud when he was inventing mormonism...
I'm still angry.... but I'm glad she is free.
Alex's story is an inspiration, even to a straight white cis male like myself.
Saving Alex, as a book, is a roller coaster of emotions. Desires for justice, joy at the conclusion to her ordeal, immense feelings of sadness and even tears will wash over you as you read or listen to it. This book needs to be heard by all.
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