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Montana Novel Tackles Taboo Subject of ‘De-Gaying’ Camps

Emily Dansforth
Photograph by Erica Edsell

Looking for a coming of age novel set in Montana that explores personal identity and sexual orientation? Curtis Sittenfeld claims the book,”[The Miseducation of Cameron Post is] the best novel about ‘de-gaying camp’ ever written.”

Author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post,  Emily Dansforth, originally from Miles City, Montana, talked with fellow author Curtis Sittenfeld about her interactions with people who had been to camps or programs focused in conversion therapy. One of the places Dansforth ended up in was in Billings Montana. While most of the book comes from Dansforth’s imagination, but the ideas and feelings she aims to convey are real.

Dansforth grew up in Miles City where she struggled with the identity of her own sexual orientation. Sittenfeld asked Dansforth, “[Miles City] is depicted in such a vivid way. Do you feel at all nervous about how the book will be received there?” to which Dansforth replied “It’s not even about the conversion therapy, but there’s some frankness in the sex or make-out scenes, and the drug use, and people then knowing me, and my parents still live on Main Street [in Miles City]. I’m very very tied to that town. My entire family lives in Montana with the exception of me. People are going to look for me in Cam and other characters as well.”

Read the full interview with author Emily Dansforth over at and check out her book The Miseducation of Cameron Post.


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