Who would have thought? Not me!
Fifteen years ago, in 2004, ‘A Life of Unlearning – coming out of the church, one man’s struggle’ hit Australian book and department store shelves.
I had no idea that:
- It would become an Australian bestseller and sell out twice
- There’d be two more revised and updated editions
- It would change the lives of literally 1,000s of people all over the world and save some from suicide (see below)
- It would become an Australian gay classic like ‘Holding the Man’
- Fifteen years later it would still be the only Australian Brokeback Mountain/Boy Erased story in print
- Fifteen years later the third edition ‘A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith’ (3rd edition) would be even MORE RELEVANT than the 2004 first edition
7 reasons why A Life of Unlearning is intensely relevant NOW than in 2004
- Most Australians hadn’t heard of Hillsong in 2004
- We weren’t having debates about marriage equality or religious freedom in 2004
- Gay conversion therapy (LGBTQA+ conversion practices) was not consistently in the news, and LGBT rights groups and politicians were not trying to get the practised banned. Hell, in 2004, most of them didn’t even know it existed.
- The award-winning film Boy Erased, starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton, has raised greater awareness.
- Israel Folau was 15, a Mormon and not a Pentecostal, or a bible quoting international rugby star.
- Today we have a Pentecostal PM, Scott Morrison, whose church I used to preach at regularly
- And the most important one for me……….young people in Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic homes and churches who are only now coming to terms with their sexuality or gender identity weren’t even born in 2004. God I hope it reaches them.
I got this message from a young man on Facebook
I grew up in the church Joyce Myers started her ministry and I was involved with that whole circle of people from a young age. I came out at 16 and basically got banished from the church and my family. It broke me the way they treated me. Fast forward time and depression. I was at the point where I had told myself I’d just end it. No one loved me (so I falsely believed). I had a plan and date but I stumbled across your book. Man did your experience touch me. I made a decision to live and to live life to my fullest potential after that. And I’m doing pretty darn great now ha. but I’ve just always wanted to share this with you and honestly, I really believe I would have ended it that day if I didn’t come across A Life of Unlearning. I’ve just never known what to say and I know you don’t really know me but just wanted to say thanks for being brave enough to share your story. It saved my life.
Here’s a review that was posted on Amazon only days ago.
“I read this book on my search for finding my own authenticity. I have searched high and low for guidance and I found Tony’s book to be a sort of light at the end of the tunnel. I do not come from the same religious place as him but in other aspects, even down to having two daughters, my life has followed the well-worn path of denial, repression, acknowledgment and eventual acceptance of being gay. I have struggled to see a path through this dense jungle and Tony’s candid, painfully honest story resonated with me, as with many others. In his simple, unvarnished storytelling he was relatable and humble. I believe his story is important for both a gay person struggling to come to acceptance as well as a straight partner who would like better to understand the journey of coming to acceptance by their partner. It would also be a resource for friends and family of anyone who is on that journey.”
Find out more about A Life of Unlearning HERE
eBook available on Amazon and paperback available through all online booksellers and The Bookshop Darlinghurst