Why I wept in a West Hollywood hotel room for 35 minutes

//Why I wept in a West Hollywood hotel room for 35 minutes

Why I wept in a West Hollywood hotel room for 35 minutes

So much has happened since my trip to attend the Amplify Asia Conference in Hong Kong and then to the United States to attend the Exodus International conference. It would take me a week to write about it everything. But I know no one has the time to read all that! You MUST know about this though.

At the Exodus conference, in Orange County, CA, I met two lovely people Linda and Rob Robertson. The theme of the Exodus conference was “True Stories” and I could tell from the first conference meeting that there was a new authenticity coming forth from those who shared.  Linda’s brother Don, an openly gay police sergeant, who works for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, kept saying “you must see Rob and Linda presentation tomorrow morning” (said several times for emphasis).

Of course I wanted to be there (even though I didn’t know the full extent of the story) but I HAD to write a newsletter and blog about the ground breaking announcement(media release) the night before, when the president, Alan Chambers (video) said that Exodus International days were over. It took the entire morning to write so I arrived back at the conference at lunch time just as the meeting was finishing.

Linda’s brother Don, kept saying “you should have been here”…”you should have been here”

I felt guilty but I knew I had to let supporters and friends of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International know ASAP about that Exodus was closing its doors.It wasn’t till conference ended that I finally got to see Rob and Linda’s presentation “Just Because He Breathes” about their son Ryan.

Watching on my laptop in the hotel room I began sobbing (and did for sometime later) and realised it was probably meant to be that I missed this meeting. Had I actually been there I’d have wept so loudly that I would have had to leave the auditorium.Since commencing this work, I have heard lots of stories. And when I say lots…. I am talking 100’s and 100’s. Many unheard or had never been shared with anyone. Always moving ….many heart-wrenching.  Rob and Linda’s story stands out as one of the most powerful of all.  It was both courageous and inspiring of them to talk about their journey so openly and to do it at an Exodus conference.Make sure you WATCH and SHARE the video with as many people as possible. Particularly pastors, church leaders and Christian friends who are yet to understand that being gay or lesbian is not a sin, choice or can be changed.  And that holding on to these outdated beliefs is devastating individual lives and families. 

This 35 minutes could change things forever.

Find out more about Rob, Linda and Ryan’s story here Just Because He breathes

PS: if you would like to support this recent project “The Secret Mission” then you can see the barometer and details here

© Anthony Venn-Brown 


About the Author:

Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony Venn-Brown is one of Australia’s foremost commentators on faith and sexuality. His best-selling autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith', details his journey from being one of the first in the world to experience religious gay conversion therapy, becoming a married, high profile preacher in Australia's growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, to living as an openly gay man. 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 occassions for his contribution and impact including being twice voted one of 'The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’.


  1. Anonymous July 10, 2013 at 3:09 am - Reply

    Mr. Brown I am glad you found my family's story so moving and agree that it should be shared wide and far. I am so proud of my brother Rob and his wife Linda for the COURAGE they showed in delivering their message of unconditional love.

    If you could please correct the name of Linda's Blog it is: Just Because He Breathes not because he breathes (even though you link works with the wrong name)

    Thank You Ron Robertson Proud and Loving Uncle of Ryan.

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