ALOU2A Life of Unlearning
A journey to find the  truth

News for readers & interested people
Greetings!

You are probably aware how much my life changed after the first edition of my autobiography was released. I have been privileged to be the first contact point for 1,000's of LGBT people from faith and religious backgrounds; especially those experiencing faith/sexuality conflict. It's a like my inbox has become a microscope into a hidden world as many isolated and alienated people have found someone they relate to; often for the first time. Some of you are on this newsletter list because of this.

 

One of the outcomes was that I felt compelled to do all I could to end the unnecessary suffering cause by ignorance about sexual orientation. I don't want one person to spend one day experiencing the internal torment I did for 22 years.

 

From that desire, Phil Wall, his partner Alan Hough and others helped found Freedom 2 b[e], a network of LGBT people from faith backgrounds and their supporters. This year the organisation is five years old. Our online community has over 700 people. We are number one on Goggle search. Traffic on our site has doubled and we have 100''s of stories of people who have come out and found resolution of their faith and/or their sexuality.

 

I thought that I would use this newsletter to give you an insight into the impact Freedom 2 b[e] is having.


If you would like to support this important cause (sometimes literally saving lives) then you will find details at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

Your support in any way is very much appreciated.


Anthony Venn-Brown
An Ambassador for the LGBT community (amongst other things)

In This Issue
MG Video, Pics & Stories
Stories on the Forum
How you can help
Love is an Orientation
YouTube Video Resources
Social Networking
Specific Coaching for Gay and Lesbian Clients and those Questioning their Sexual Identity
Quick Links
Website
GLB? Coaching
Blog
Three Free Chapters
Ex-gay Oz & NZ
The Great Heresy
Creating Change
Freedom 2 b[e] Forum

Freedom 2 b[e] in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

Freedom 2 b[e]

Freedom 2 b[e] participated in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for the fourth time this years. Our theme this year was celebrating the life journeys we have taken resolving the perceived conflict of faith and sexuality.

WE ARE THE SURVIVORS


You can watch the video on the home page of freedom 2 b[e]  View it here.  The full photo album is here


You can read the full story about people's experiences here.

 

Here are some extracts:

 

Chris said....First time for me. It's like nothing else I've experienced. All the cheering, the waving - the crowd was incredible. Getting called over to give high fives. Being pointed at followed by a "You're cute!" once as well. Thankfully my ears and feet have recovered overnight, but I still have a smile stuck on my face which may take a bit longer to subside. Definitely a night I won't be forgetting.

 

Hannah (straight supporter) said......I had a great night. It was my first time and thoroughly enjoyed the time with all the Freedom 2 b[e] gang. I think that we all looked fantastic (of course) and feel so warmly welcomed by you all.

 

Terry said....LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT!!! It was a unique experience. I was overwhelmed by the kindred spirit of the 9500 marchers and the support from the crowd was inspiring, If you have not been, if you have ever thought about it, well 2011 can be your year. It is empowering, to say the least.

 

Steve (our cameraman) said....My eyes scanned the crowd. I noticed they were all there for a single cause. You would think that cause would be supporting the GLBT cause but that wasn't what I saw. What I saw was greater than that. What was uniting tens of thousands of people was "love". Everyone was there showing their love in their own way. Some were sharing their love with tears running down their face. Others were sharing their love by shouting at the top of their lungs. Others, Hugging and kissing everyone they could get their hands on.

 

My attention was drawn away from the crowd and shifted to the people that were marching beside me. Having read many of their stories right here on the Freedom 2 b[e]  site I knew there was more happening here than marching and cheering. Lives were being changed in this single moment. Chains were breaking free with every step. You could see it on the faces of the marchers. New life had sparked inside!

 

PJ said..... It was my first time marching in the parade. I had a good time; it was amazing to see how many people turned out to cheer everyone on. I suppose as a first timer, I was a tad overwhelmed by the massive crowd, I was thinking about my journey that my life has been. It's been a struggle but here I was walking up Oxford Street as a survivor.

 

Topgun said.....Mardi Gras was an awesome, fun and life changing experience. They said u won't be the same afterwards and it's true. This time last year I was trying to decrease my same sex attraction, getting nervous about doing "counselling" to become straight. I never would have though 12 months later I'd march in the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras as someone not ashamed of being gay and not ashamed of being Christian. I had always seen this parade as evil and as something that grieves the heart of my God.  What one heck of a turnaround!!! I, and u and we R SURVIVORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

MG 2010 made me proud t o be different, proud to be a Christian and reinforced in me that I am as good as anyone else, that we r not freaks, that I'm not alone in my journey and have wonderful support. Making me more bold to stand up for truth, for what I believed in and to be me and not be ashamed of it or be intimidated by others think or how they put me down. The buzz I got from stepping out onto Oxford St and the crowds and cheering and the reception we got was incredible. The atmosphere of the nite was something to be remembered. Before we marched I had so many people asking me questions about my t shirt and "ex gay survivors. The opportunity to meet and speak with a range of people was fascinating. As soon as they r available I am registering for Mardi Gras 2011.

 

Malinda (straight supporter) said......I felt extremely proud to be marching for this cause and when someone from the crowd waved me over to explain and then were cheering before I only got half way through it, I felt like perhaps there was hope for the future of the church and the gay community.

 

Well done to all marchers who have made their voice be counted. I imagine for some of you it would have been very difficult but you should be proud! Given that I felt highly emotional as a heterosexual supporter I can only guess at some of the feelings you were experiencing. This was my first Mardi Gras and first time marching and I was incredibly honoured to be included as a supporter.

 

Mobileguy said.....For me as a "two-timer", I thought last night's parade was just as good (if not better) than last year! The crowd was just so supportive, and as I read in the newspaper this morning, the annual Mardi Gras parade has definitely moved from being a statement of protest for equal rights, to being a celebratory event where LGBT people and their supporters from all walks of life can come together in unison to proudly proclaim their heritage and identity.

Here are some examples of stories on the forum

You Can Help Freedom 2 b[e] Make a Difference

SO HOW CAN YOU HELP ??????

 

1. Forum Moderators

Moderators also work on ensuring that the forum remains an active and safe place for all users. If you are interested in helping in this area - let us know. [email protected]

 

2. Special event organisers

During the year we have a number of special events. If you would like to organise any of these or help with the practical logistics that make these events actually happen - let us know. [email protected]

 

3. Local reps

We are working on setting up chapters in various capital cities. Until we can do this, we are looking for local reps who can provide us with information on events, supportive churches and other useful local information. If you have your finger on the pulse and are happy to be a contact point and to keep finding and updating information - let us know. [email protected]

4. General promotion & awareness raising

Using facebook, internet groups, discussion boards etc to create greater awareness of Freedom 2 b[e] and the work we do. If you are a bit of an internet junkie we'd love to hear from you. [email protected]

 

5. Greeters

At our monthly chapter meetings its always handy to have people who look after first time visitors and make them feel welcome and introduce them around.

 

6. Fundraising

We have general operating costs and a number of projects waiting to get underway. We are currently looking at ways to facilitate fundraising and making applications for Grants for specific projects. If you are interested in helping in this area - let us know. [email protected]

 

7. Financial giving

You can help this important work continue to grow, by making regular automatic weekly, monthly or one-off donations directly into the Freedom 2 b[e] account either by

A.       Credit Card

http://www.ourcommunity.com.au/giving/appeal_details.form?appealId=1616

B.       Direct Debit

St George Bank

Account name: Freedom to be

BSB No: 112 -879

Account No: 464521971

 

Any donation, no matter how small on a regular basis, all adds up to make a difference.

Love is an Orientation
love is an orientation"Love is an Orientation" could have been written by many of us. My last 18 years as out gay man and a part of the many facets of the LGBT community and 22 years living totally within a Christian context certainly would have given me the background and insights to pen this work. What makes this book so remarkable is that it is written by a  straight, evangelical young man.

Author Andrew Marin's journey begins when three of his close Christian friends secretly confide in him that they are gay. Realising his only knowledge of homosexuality was based on what others had said; he believed that it was a choice and his friends just needed to pray the gay away. Surprisingly Andrew feels a call of Gods Spirit to 'immerse' himself into the LGBT community. For over 12 months Andrew lives and socialises in Boystown (gay mecca of Chicago) and goes to gay bars, cafes, venues, support groups, political events and social clubs. And so begins his education.

In these contexts he is an enigma. A straight Christian who doesn't preach but listens, often to heart wrenching stories of rejection and pain. experienced by LGBT people both within and outside the church.  His heart is touched for ever as he falls in love with the people he previously would have judged and condemned.

There are valuable lessons and insights in these pages for straight Christians who are sick of the debates and embarrassed by the condemning, insensitive  comments of Christian leaders and right wing extreme groups. Those who believe there is a more Christ-like way to engage and be like the Jesus we read about in the Gospels.; a man who shunned religious exclusivity and reached out to real human beings no matter what their background.

Andrew's book is touching and refreshing. I was moved to tears several times as a gay man who spent many years struggling to resolve the perceived conflict between my faith and sexuality.  Andrew gets us and shows us there is  not only a better way, it's a new day.

In Australia you can purchase Andrew's book here

Out of Australia purchase through amazon.com
Videos and Resources on YouTube

Latest video RUMOURS RUMOURS RUMOURS

Total channel here.

  1. ALOU Launch 2004 Rebekah & Hannah Part 1 See my wonderful daughters make over 300 people laugh and cry in the space of a couple of minutes

  2. ALOU Launch 2004 Anthony Venn Brown Part 2 Obviously I was speaking prophetically in 2004 its now happened over and over again.

  3. Anthony Venn-Brown on 7's Sunrise - Everyday Peopleis probably one of the best interviews I've done. Channel 7 liked it so much they played again on the Morning Show.

  4.  Anthony Venn-Brown Comes Out on Shine. Dean Carey, Director of Actors Centre Australia, interviews gay ambassador Anthony Venn-Brown on Shine along with singer David Campbell. Meet my lovely daughters

  5. Gay Ambassador Anthony Venn-Brown interviewed on Queer TV . Anthony Venn-Brown talks about his journey, being a gay ambassador, his 50th birthday, the new edition of his autobiography, a conversation with the Hon. Michael Kirby and meeting with the Assemblies of God.

  6. Honey I'm gay!  Sydney Morning Heralds Sexpert, Brooke Hemphill, interviews Coach & Author Anthony Venn-Brown. "It's better to live one day on the planet being true to yourself than an entire lifetime which is a lie." "When we choose to live authentically, we chip away at others prisons' of pretend." "I'd rather be rejected for who I am, than accepted for who I'm not."

  7. Being Gay in a Heterosexual Marriage - Channel 7 Sunrise . Coach and Author Anthony Venn-Brown speaks on Australia's national breakfast show, Channel 7's Sunrise about being gay but in a heterosexual marriage. For many of us, being gay, lesbian or bisexual in a heterosexual marriage was not a choice of intentional deception. Our marriages were the result of the pressure to conform. Some of us grew up in a society where homosexuality was considered a perversion or psychologic.al illness. When we married, we did so believing it was the right thing to do and expecting it would change what we perceived was faulty within us. Was the current knowledge on sexual orientation available to us then, our choices would have been different.

  8.  Dad's Coming Out 60 Minutes Pt 1 . What do you do if you are gay but in heterosexual marriage? What about the wife and kids? Is it worthwhile coming out? Who gets hurt? How to move on? What about the parents when their child comes out?

  9.  Dad's Coming Out - 60 Minutes Pt 2

Social Networking

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GLB? Specific Coaching Available
  • Married, Gay or Bi - What to do?
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  • Resolving faith/sexuality issues

Email me directly for more information [email protected]

Please Note: US, UK, Asia, NZ, Australia or anywhere in the world, coaching can be done effectively either on the phone , via the internet or face to face (if you live in Sydney). Your privacy is always respected and strict confidentiality assured.

Other areas of coaching include:

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  • Life Balance - including work, social, health, finance, relationships
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Personal

  • Building a Healthy Self-Image
  • Creating a Fulfilling Life in Singleness
  • Relationships
  • Negotiating Life Transitions, Re-inventing Yourself
  • Mid Life - Turn Your Crisis into a Quest
  • Life Purpose

When you want to master a new sport, the quickest way to learn is to hire a coach. Then why do leading athletes still have a coach, considering they are top in their fields? Because they know it's essential to have a coach in order to achieve optimum results.

In the same way, a professionally trained and accredited coach assists you to achieve top performance, desired outcomes and success in all areas of your personal and professional life. It's like having a personal trainer for your life.

Ready to do, have and be more?  Click here

Anthony Venn-Brown (ACC ICF)

Professional Coach -  Internationally accredited with 9 years experience

Award winning author of 'A Life of Unlearning - A Journey to Find the Truth'

Convenor of Freedom 2 b[e]

Honoured to be on the inaugural list of the  25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians

Tel: + 61 (0)2 9699 2448  Mobile: +61 (0)416 015 231

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