Sexual orientation change efforts within religious contexts

//Sexual orientation change efforts within religious contexts

Sexual orientation change efforts within religious contexts

Sensoria – A Journal of Mind, Brain, and Culture

Special edition on Gender and Sexuality

Sexual orientation change efforts within religious contexts: A personal account of the battle to heal homosexuals

Anthony Venn-Brown


Societies where ignorance and misinformation about sexuality and gender identity abounds have been breeding grounds for much harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and to the community as a whole. Within the context of the Christian faith, the greatest harm has occurred to those LGBT individuals who have submitted themselves to ex-gay / reparative / conversion ‘therapies’ (i.e., SOCE; Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) and organisations. The practice of seeking to turn homosexual to heterosexual has predominately existed within Christianity, but not exclusively. Programs have operated and still exist in association with Jewish, and more recently Islamic religious communities. This article is a personal account from a former evangelist that details the ‘life cycle’ of SOCEs in Australia and the author’s personal experience with an ex-gay program.

To view or download entire article PDF click here  Sexual Orientation Change Efforts within Religious Contexts

Read Table of Contents of other articles of volume 11, no 1, of Sensoria – A Journal of Mind, Brain, and Culture here

By |2016-11-08T01:48:24+00:00November 18th, 2015|Categories: Conversion therapy|Tags: |2 Comments

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. Ray April 22, 2016 at 5:17 am - Reply

    What an amazing, succinct and well researched summary of the “issue”! Well done mate, and I will be sending this out to my evangelical friends, and also encouraging them to get your book.
    Ray USA

  2. Warren April 22, 2016 at 5:19 am - Reply

    This is a really valuable contribution. Given that the Uniting Church context is so different, I had never thought of the full range of issues you raise. They are systematised and described very effectively. You can be an independent scholar!

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