Saving Alex

When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began

by Alex Cooper, Joanna Brooks

On Sale: 03/01/2016

Saving Alex

When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began

by Alex Cooper, Joanna Brooks

On Sale: 03/01/2016


About the Book

When Alex Cooper was fifteen years old, life was pretty ordinary in her sleepy suburban town and nice Mormon family. At church and at home, Alex was taught that God had a plan for everyone. But something was gnawing at her that made her feel different. These feelings exploded when she met Yvette, a girl who made Alex feel alive in a new way, and with whom Alex would quickly fall in love.

Alex knew she was holding a secret that could shatter her family, her church community, and her life. Yet when this secret couldn’t be hidden any longer, she told her parents that she was gay, and the nightmare began. She was driven from her home in Southern California to Utah, where, against her will, her parents handed her over 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 many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. Her captors used faith to punish and terrorize her. With the help of a dedicated legal team in Salt Lake City, Alex eventually escaped and made legal history in Utah by winning the right to live under the law’s protection as an openly gay teenager.

Alex is not alone; the headlines continue to splash stories about gay conversion therapy and rehabilitation centers that promise to “save” teenagers from their sexuality. Saving Alex is a courageous memoir that tells Alex’s story in the hopes that it will bring awareness and justice to this important issue. A bold, inspiring story of one girl’s fight for freedom, acceptance, and truth.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Alex Cooper’s story is a call to action - we must put a stop to this brutal practice of conversion therapy and ensure that every child is embraced for who they are in their homes, schools and communities.” - Chad Griffin, President, Human Rights Campaign

“Alex’s engrossing and shocking story is the triumph of courage, authenticity and hope over shame, bigotry and ignorance. The nightmare of Alex’s story is a key reason we will soon succeed in ending the cruel and dangerous practice of conversion therapy.” - Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights

“In her new memoir, author Alex Cooper recounts her grisly experiences with reparative, or ‘gay conversion,’ therapy as a teen. Cooper’s book, Saving Alex, details the ‘exhausting and humiliating’ time she allegedly spent at a home in St. George, Utah.” - Huffington Post

“Heart-wrenching, suspenseful. Alex’s hopeful story is a testament to the power of solidarity and compassion and a measure of how far our society has come. But it is also a chilling reminder that thousands in the U.S. are still subjected to deplorable conditions inside ‘gay conversion programs’ today” - BUST Magazine

“In this deeply personal book, Alex Cooper recounts her teenage years undergoing conversion therapy after her parents, devout Mormons, discovered she was gay. The story is riveting.” - Mother Jones

“Ripped-from-the-headlines books often seemed forced, but not here. Alex’s story is gripping as she comes across as a reliable witness against the cruelties of so-called reparative therapy. Because of her bravery, LGBTQ teenagers in Utah don’t have to undergo what Alex endured.” - The Bay Area Reporter

Saving Alex is a sobering reminder of the unresolved trauma still out there.” - Queerty

“The suspenseful, well-written account of Alex’s eight months of ‘reparative’ therapy makes for compelling reading. Alex’s horrifying story is one that needs to be heard, and her book is an eloquent testament to that. It is encouraging proof that, as Alex is told, things do get better.” - Booklist (starred review)

“An affecting memoir. The positive ending to her story calls all readers to do more for vulnerable youth. Without offering any easy reconciliation between homosexuality and faith, Alex’s story provides an example of how to not be consumed by anger and hate toward an abusive version of religion.” - Publishers Weekly

“A 21-year-old gay woman is telling the harrowing tale of abuse and humiliation she faced at the hands of gay conversion therapists in Utah in her book Saving Alex.” - Logo NewNowNext


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062374622
  • ISBN 10: 0062374621
  • Imprint: HarperOne
  • On Sale: 03/01/2016
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price:16.99 CAD
  • BISAC3 : RELIGION / Christianity / Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)

Saving Alex by Alex Cooper, Joanna Brooks

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