In a former life Anthony Venn-Brown, married with children, was a high-profile Pentecostal preacher, who preached regularly in megachurches around the country. His twenty-two-year struggle trying NOT to be gay, came to an abrupt end the night he met Jason. Reality can hit hard sometimes, and a public confession and abandonment by the church left him devastated.
It would take time to recover from the shame and begin his journey to living authentically as a gay man. Anthony was the first Australian gay conversion therapy survivor to tell his story.
His autobiography. ‘A Life of Unlearning’ became a bestseller and opened a floodgate of responses from readers who’d had similar experiences.
An entire chapter details his ex-gay experience in 1972 and exorcisms in 1971. Since 2000, Anthony has supported conversion therapy survivors, created awareness about the harm, and worked towards ending the practice in Australia.
He is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International and has been recognised for his contribution to the LGBTI community several times including being twice voted one of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians.
Anthony has been monitoring ex-gay/conversion/reparative activities/organisations in Australia and overseas since the late 90s and gained a wealth of experience working with people dealing with the aftermath of a belief system that said, because they were same-sex-oriented, they were broken, dysfunctional and an abomination.