A glimpse into Australia’s ex-gay world

A glimpse into Australia’s ex-gay world

Quite a number of us have been involved in some form of ex-gay ministry, counselling or mindset. An ex-gay belief is that homosexuality is caused by abuse or poor family relationships and therefore is dysfunctional and can be healed. Some spend years struggling to overcome their ‘same sex attraction’ with this mindset or groups.

The next Freedom 2 b[e] meeting, on Friday November 5 at the ACON offices, will be an Australian first. In order to get a closer look at the beliefs, methodologies and impacts of the ex-gay movement in Australia, the group will will be hearing personal stories from several Freedom 2 b[e] people who have attended ex-gay meetings or one on one therapies.

Anthony Venn-Brown spent six months in Australia’s first ex-gay program and has become one of the leading authorities on the ex-gay movement in Australia and represented Australia at US and International Ex-gay Survivor conferences.

Beginning one of the first ex-gay survivor groups on the internet in 2000, Venn-Brown has more 10 years experience working with young and old, who have participated in ‘ex-gay’ programs, assisting them to deal with the aftermath of a belief system that said, because they were same-sex-oriented, they were sick, dysfunctional and ‘abnormal’.

After leaving an ‘ex-gay’ program, unsuccessful candidates are often vulnerable and traumatised as they try to deal with the sense of shame and failure.

Venn-Brown will give an overview of the movement internationally and nationally, current activities and what the future looks like, when Freedom 2 b[e] next meets on November 5.

Freedom 2 b[e] will meet from 7.15pm on Friday, November 5 at ACON, 9 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills. Details: [email protected] or phone 0416 015 231.

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8 responses to “A glimpse into Australia’s ex-gay world”

  1. It is imperative that a forum for people who have been brought up on Christian/Muslim homes challenge the leadership on the fundamental human right –
    to be safe (physically and psychologically)
    to be able to express an opinion that may or may not be the ‘norm’
    to have equal access to services – both private and public
    to be educated

    Australia has ratified the UN Charter on the rights of the child, women, anti discrimination and people with disabilities. It is the task of all members of the community to ensure that all members of our neighbourhood are able to enjoy this freedom.

    Away from the rhetoric is hard statistical evidence of people without hope or the ability to see a future for themselves taking their own lives as they are unable to attain the standards set by their spiritual leaders.

    Many do not realise that these spiritual leaders are themselves hypocrites setting standards which they do not attain.
    The gap between the leader and the follower is an impasse which has no physical or psychological bridge. It is into this gap which the follower falls, suffering mental illness or more soundly still choosing to end their own lives rather than bridging the gap.

    Chatting with a young ‘Freedom_2be’ person recently I was overjoyed that he had survived his 2 suicide attempts. This world did not lose a beautiful, caring, loving altruistic young man who had broken free from the shackles of childhood religion.

    Furthermore, his family though not fully supportive, are at least no longer negative except him for who he is; a young gay Australian.

  2. You’ll have to describe your measuring instruments ‘Aired and Drippin’.

    Obviously when you comprehend and empathise with your ‘1000’ gay friends the comprehension and empathy are at the correct levels.

    I think that you are a person who tends to exaggerate about your analysis of other people’s actions and your own experiences.

  3. Sickening levels of comprehension and empathy. . . I have close to 1000 closer gay friends and after getting to know them, most of them admit to being sexually “interfered” with when they were children by an man. Most dont want others to know and especially they dont want it misunderstood that they themselves are potential child abusers. They are not. They are gay.

  4. HI K8

    Good points.

    Just thought I’d let you know this is a freedom 2 b[e] ( http://www.freedom2b.org/ ) initiative not ACON’s.

    ACON has very generously allowed us to use their premises for the last 5 years for our monthly chapter meetings. For this we are very grateful. We usually get around 40 attending our meetings so without ACON’s help we would find it hard to meet……and get over 4000 visits a month to our website.

    All this is about de-constructing the myths, saving lives and empowering LGBT people from faith backgrounds to live authentically.

    For many of our special nights like this one LGBT who don’t come from faith backgrounds also come along as they find it relevant.

  5. Hi Mark…..all are welcome. we’d love to have any family members…..friends whatever.

    Possibly your parents might not be ready though to attend a meeting like this. From what you have said they might not be in a place where they would be open to look at other possibilities…..but worth a try asking. PFLAG might be more relevant to them at this stage.

  6. The issue of deconstructing and dispelling the false ex-gay belief paradigm is high priority.
    Good point made there about misinformed homophobic parents, Mark, howevever, whatever their sons behaviours be it camp or not makes no differences. Equally, the prevalent trendy ‘straight acting’ clones are false and misrepresentative of fundamental homosexual attraction.
    Good initiative from Acon in this instance.

  7. Can you send your parents?
    After “Coming out to My parents” 2 Months ago I recieved a torrid of Verbal Abuse from my Father who considered me as “Sick and Needing help” amongst other things.THIS really Hurt.
    As straights mainly the Older Generations only connection with the Gay Community is watching Mardi Gra on T.V It was quickly assumed that I dance half naked on a Float with my arse in front of a camera,or parade around in costume highly resembling a Vegetime Bottle but saying “Sodomite” on it during the parade.
    Its Parents that need to attend these classes and if possible spokespersons to Lecture that Not All Gay Men are Camp acting (As Hollywood movies deams us to be) Wear Make-up,and carry on like we deserved to be bashed.
    Somethings really hurt when said,And I strongly believe Parents,Brothers & sisters should go to these meetings as well,Thankyou