Sadly, not all conversion therapy survivors get an apology.
If you’ve read my autobiography, you’ll know that in 1972, I was in a residential Christian program operating out of a church in Sydney’s south to rid myself of my homosexuality. I thought it was my last resort after I’d already fought against it daily for three years. Moombara and Bundeena House were properties owned and operated by the church.
Through a series of amazing synchronistic events that would boggle the mind of any mathematician working out the probability, I reconnected with the church during the first COVID-19 lockdown and began consulting with the leadership and the church. There were just a handful of originals left from the time I was a resident in 1972. Two were on the leadership team of the current congregation.
The final outcome was that on Sunday 27 March 2022, the church became officially affirming and apologised to me and others for the past harms.
Statement of affirmation:
“At Bundeena House Christian Community, we believe that every person is created in God’s image. All are equally worthy of respect, dignity and love, regardless of gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, ability, race or ethnicity. Everyone is welcomed, supported and affirmed to grow in their relationship with God, self and each other. Everyone is encouraged to use their gifts and abilities to serve God and others.”
“Today we want to speak about wrongs in the past history of the Bundeena House Christian Community and to acknowledge the suffering which so many experienced as a result of the community’s stance on issues of sexuality.
We are sorry for our past belief that any person’s sexuality was unacceptable to God and needed to be changed, and for our attempts to do so.
We are sorry that we promoted the belief that anyone’s intrinsic sexuality would be condemned by God and by the church at large.
We are sorry for the harshness with which many were treated and the condemnation which was directed at LGBT people.
We are sorry for the spiritual and emotional suffering and damage which were direct consequences of the beliefs we espoused and the practices we undertook.
We are sorry that we were in these ways not channels of the love and mercy of God.”
I was joined that morning for the profound and moving service with my daughter, her finance, the president of ABBI, a couple of board members and a dear friend. Eventually, a video will be put together of the entire event, but you can have a sneak peek at a special part of the proceedings HERE.
We unveiled a new church sign that day.
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