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THE QUEST TO CURE QUEERS - the history of gay conversion therapy

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Deakin Downtown

Level 12 Tower 2

727 Collins Street

Docklands, VIC 3008

Australia

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Most people believe that ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy is a US Christian invention that was exported around the world. In 1972, (4 years before Exodus was founded) however, Anthony Venn-Brown admitted himself into a Christian residential rehabilitation program in Sydney Australia, to cure him of his "curse" - his homosexuality.

In 2013 Anthony was invited to attend the final Exodus annual conference to hear the historic announcement that the world's leading conversion therapy organisation was shutting down. Anthony's current project, Exodus to Nowhere, covers not only the years in between those two events but why people sort healing and deliverance from homosexuality before Exodus was founded.

In this presentation, Anthony sifts through the maze of politics, personalities, programs, misinformation and media frenzies and joins dots previously thought unrelated.

  • Same-sex sexual activity during WW11
  • Post war hysteria about homosexuality and the cold war ‘lavender scare’
  • Mental health professionals attempts to find causes and cures
  • Protestant Christian support of gay rights in the 1960’s – what happened?
  • The seeds of anti-gay Christian thinking planted in the 1960’s
  • What created the ‘change is possible’ philosophy in the 1960’s
  • How the Jesus Movement influenced ex-gay thinking
  • The Charismatic movement empowerment of the ex-gay message
  • Why Exodus was founded and its growth worldwide including 40 ministries in Australia
  • How Exodus was politically high-jacked
  • What were the key factors that brought the Exodus empire to its knees
  • The collateral damage and aftermath – tragic tales from the survivors
  • Rebranding and how the ex-gay message morphed

Presenter

In a previous life Anthony Venn-Brown was a high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches, such as Hillsong. For 22 years he tried desperately to change his sexual orientation through psychiatric treatment, ‘ex-gay’ programs, exorcisms and 16 years of marriage.

Falling in love with a man at the age of 40 forced him to face reality that nothing had actually changed. He resigned from the ministry and came out.

The third edition of Anthony’s bestselling autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning' was recently released. ‘A Life of Unlearning’ has had a profound impact on many 1,000’s globally and been the catalyst for many to begin living an authentic life.

Anthony is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI), educating churches and Christian leaders about sexual orientation and assisting gay and lesbian people resolve the perceived conflict between their faith and sexuality.

Anthony’s work has been recognised on numerous occasions with awards including being twice voted one of the 25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians.

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Date and Time

Location

Deakin Downtown

Level 12 Tower 2

727 Collins Street

Docklands, VIC 3008

Australia

View Map

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