Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges) is the son of Marshall Eamons (Russell Crowe), a successful car seller and Baptist preacher, and Nancy Eamons (Nicole Kidman), a hairdresser. He begins his first day at the Gay Therapy Convention, Love In Action. Chief Therapist Victor Sykes (Joel Edgerton) tells the group that their sexuality is a choice influenced by the poor education they have received from their parents.
He instructs them to make harsh “moral assessments” of themselves and their families and asks them not to tell anyone what is going on during the sessions. Nancy rents a nearby motel for her and Jared until he finishes the ratings. However, Jared quickly discovers that therapy may not end too soon and may have to move to a campus house if he fails to convince Sykes that he has become hetero.
Jared’s life before joining the program shows him well adapted and happy, even if he breaks out of his girlfriend after the beginning of the faculty. Once there, he joins another student named Henry (Joe Alwyn) and has a brief intimate adventure with an arts student named Xavier (Théodore Pellerin). As he stays overnight in the same house with Jared, Henry violates him and then confesses in tears that he has done so with somebody else. Traumatized, Jared returns home to come back emotionally.