Summary

WALKING BETWEEN WORLDS

Working Effectively with LGBTQ People from Faith Backgrounds

This practical training program provides an in-depth look into the world of LGBTQ+ people of faith by understanding their contexts, identifying their issues and giving you tools that will assist them on their journey.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people of faith experience two worlds, often intensely opposed to each other. 

They experience the usual issues of resolving their sexuality, coming out, finding their place in the community and learning to live authentically in a straight world. 

Often however, they experience these with greater intensity and have additional issues to deal with. Research has shown that LGBTQ+ people from faith backgrounds are one of the highest risk groups in our community in several key areas including, anxiety, depression and suicidality. 

 

Who should attend?

  • LGBTQ community workers
  • Social workers
  • Mental health professionals
  • School counsellors
  • Chaplains
  • Telephone counsellors
  • LGBTQ liaison officers
  • Church workers
  • Health care workers
  • Youth workers

Areas Covered

  • The complexities, various layers and how to separate issues of faith and sexuality
  • Separate strategies to resolve belief system, sexual identity and scripture
  • How to create non-judgmental, safe spaces for LGBTQf people of faith
  • Identify specific issues faced by LGBTQ people of faith
  • The do’s and don’ts working with LGBTQ people of faith
  • What additional support mechanisms are available
  • ‘Closet hokey pokey’ – what is it and why it happens to LGBTQ people of faith

What have others said?

“Walking Between Worlds really brought home to me the intensity of the issues that GLBTI people from a faith background face – this was not new info to me, but when all put together like this it becomes overwhelming – it is a miracle that any of us are alive and sane. The sense of hurt from people who had felt rejected by the church and alienated from their faith was very evident and moving.” – Rev Bev Fabb

“Walking Between Worlds gave me important new understandings of the immense emotional battle it is to have same sex attraction and live in a world which doesn’t understand and the added complexity of being a person of faith. Enlightening and important thinking to be able to move forward in working towards healing and reconciliation.” – Robert (Chaplain)

“I found Walking Between Worlds to be an incredibly impacting seminar. Not only did I walk away with much for me personally it helped me to see how timely it is for the Church and the LGBTI community. Too often, in the Church, we talk about LGBTI people but rarely with them. True understanding will only come with engagement. The seminar showed me this is possible even in one day.” – Jason (Youth Pastor)

“Walking Between Worlds provided a safe space to explore, challenge and address the relationship between faith and sexuality. Anthony’s seminar helps to creates an important bridge between the debate and the individual by using personal narrative and contemporary resources. Anthony was a great presenter – well informed and willing to work through the tough questions.” – Sarah (Salvation Army counsellor and trainer)

“The #Walking Between Worlds Seminar is an important step in the journey to becoming a safer person or safer community in the lives of LGBTQ+ people of faith. 

Anthony’s thorough research through listening to the stories of people’s lived experiences is profound. These are not just a handful of anecdotes like we often see in conversion therapy “success” stories, but thousands and thousands of deeply traumatic and grief-filled experiences that people have survived in our churches and Christian homes. 

Anthony uses humour as well as deeply moving quotes and stories to show the harm done to LGBTQ+ people in the name of religion and also gives tools for how we can support people as they navigate their own journey towards wholeness as an affirmed and celebrated human.

I highly recommend this seminar for congregations who are discerning how they might do less harm to LGBTQ+ people in the future. Consider hosting the seminar and networking with other like-minded Christians and those in teaching, therapeutic and caring professions to help equip your local area with safer people committed to ending the trauma and contributing towards healing.” – Becca De Souza, Central Church

Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (he/him) | Founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI).

Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (he/him) | Founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI).

As an ambassador for his community, Anthony speaks to a wider audience about gay and lesbian community issues by providing a comfortable space where people can ask the often-unasked questions. Anthony’s presentations are informative, entertaining, and inspiring. Audiences quickly realise he is well-informed and speaks from profound personal experience.

In recognition of his work, Anthony was twice voted one of The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians (2007 & 2009) and was one of four finalists for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award. In 2012,  the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association awarded Anthony Life Membership for Outstanding Service to the LGBTI Community. In 2015 he was the winner of ACON’s Health and Wellbeing Award for over 20 years of providing leadership and support for LGBTI people of faith and working to bring ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy practices and organisations to an end in Australia. In June 2020 Anthony was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to the LGBTIQ community.