|A Life of Unlearning
A journey to find the truth
News for readers & interested people
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.
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
If you would like to support this important cause (sometimes literally
saving lives) then you will find details at the bottom of this newsletter.
in any way is very much appreciated.
An Ambassador for the LGBT community (amongst other things)
Freedom 2 b[e]
in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
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
can watch the video on the home page of freedom 2 b[e] View it here. The
full photo album is here
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.
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
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|
'I came out of the closet 3 years ago
& slammed the door behind me but then I just stood there and didn't keep on
moving! Posted yesterday
Shan - 19 year old country guy trying to make
sense of things... posted this week
I use to be a Christian until I discovered
Jesus Azariah Southworth
20, gay Christian, excommunicated by church
& disowned by family. Craig Hoyle
16, gay male, Pentecostal/Charismatic
background gettingthere's journey continues
I am a Happy Apple! (40 year old, ex-pastor,
out and proud) former Aussie ex-gay leader
Gay woman, mid 40's, CCC/AOG/Hillsong
background, hurt but now whole ...
Pastor's Kid, Out and trying to
maintain relationship with parents
I'm a 17 year old gay male, out to
one person, miserable.
Ann Maree - 41 Ex Pentecostal. Always
Seeking the Sacred.
You Can Help Freedom 2 b[e] Make a Difference
SO HOW CAN YOU
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]
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
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]
promotion & awareness raising
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]
At our monthly chapter meetings its always handy to have people
who look after first time visitors and make them feel welcome and introduce
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]
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
St George Bank
Account name: Freedom to be
BSB No: 112 -879
Account No: 464521971
donation, no matter how small on a regular basis, all adds up to make a
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
and Resources on YouTube
Latest video RUMOURS RUMOURS RUMOURS
Total channel here.
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
ALOU Launch 2004 Anthony Venn Brown Part 2 Obviously I was speaking prophetically in 2004 its now happened over and over again.
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.
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
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.
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."
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
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?
Dad's Coming Out - 60 Minutes
GLB? Specific Coaching Available
- Married, Gay or
Bi - What to do?
- Coming Out
Strategic Plan - Why? When? Who? How? What?
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
Other areas of coaching include:
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Skills, Communication, Personal Empowerment, Assertiveness
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including work, social, health, finance, relationships
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resumes, networking, interviews
- Building a
- Creating a
Fulfilling Life in Singleness
- Negotiating Life
Transitions, Re-inventing Yourself
- Mid Life - Turn
Your Crisis into a Quest
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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
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