Conversion therapy survivors unite this Mardi Gras (Star Observer)

Conversion therapy survivors unite this Mardi Gras (Star Observer)

Ex-gay, conversion therapy survivors will unite this Mardi Gras in a walking entry that is as much about highlighting the issue as it is about personal empowerment.

Already 27 people who have been through the experience of so-called gay reparative therapy have signed up to take part in the group coordinated by Freedom2b[e].

“For many, this will be the first time they’ve been able to meet with other ex-gay survivors,” Freedom2b[e] co-convenor Anthony Venn-Brown said.

“People who have gone through these types of programs are quite possibly left with a sense of shame and failure. It can take years to resolve that and to deal with that on a subconscious level.

“There’s a subconscious belief that hangs around, that makes people think maybe they’ve done the wrong thing, that maybe they won’t really be accepted by God because they’ve accepted their sexuality. “Being involved with a parade like Mardi Gras is an empowering experience for every individual —  and particularly for people who have been through the experience of ex-gay programs, it is an opportunity to put their demons to bed.”

It is also an opportunity to open up space for discussion in the wider community.

“It is not just about de-constructing the ex-gay myth, but creating a space for healing for people who have perhaps been through some form of ex-gay therapy,” Venn-Brown said.

“There are a lot of people who don’t speak out. I’ve had so many emails from people who have been traumatised by these experiences, who haven’t really talked to anyone about them. It’s not something you’d have a conversation about in a gay bar, or for many, even something they’d talk about with friends — they wouldn’t understand.

“There is, in certain parts of our community, a very justifiable anti-religion feeling, though it doesn’t help those who come from faith backgrounds who need a space to talk about those things.”

© Star Observer

UPDATE: A video of the night and more information HERE 

By |2023-02-25T12:08:00+11:00February 10th, 2010|Categories: Conversion therapy, News article (AVB/ABBI)|Tags: |0 Comments

About the Author:

Anthony Venn-Brown OAM, is one of Australia’s foremost commentators on faith and sexuality. His bestselling autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith', details his journey from being a national Pentecostal leader and famous preacher, preaching to 1000s every weekend in Australia’s growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, to living as an openly gay man. Anthony was one of the first in the world to experience religious gay conversion 'therapy' and has worked to see the practice cease. Anthony was the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b. He is an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy myth. Anthony is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International. Anthony has been recognised on a number of occasions for his contribution and impact including being twice voted one of 'The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’ (2007 and 2009) and in June 2020 he was awarded the 'Order of Australia Medal' (OAM) for service to the LGBTIQ community.

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