ABBI | SURVIVING | The Quest to Cure Queers: A personal and behind the scenes account of gay conversion therapy | Tuesday 24 October 2017 | Arrive 4.45pm for 5-6.30pm

[Edited extract from public address]

Most people believe that ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy is a US Christian invention that was exported around the world in the 1980’s and 90’s. 

Hosted by Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli of Deakin University, hear how in 1972, (4 years before Exodus was founded) 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. "The quest to cure queers" 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 considered unrelated.
• The significance of same-sex sexual activity during WW11
• Why the post war hysteria 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
• Why the Jesus Movement influenced ex-gay thinking
• How the Charismatic movement empowered 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

Anthony founded and is current 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.

Where: Deakin Downtown, Level 12 Tower 2 - 727 Collins Street Melbourne 3008 DATE:

Format: presentation and questions. Informal drinks and chat afterwards downstairs at Bar Nacional

Bookings: Register now, limited seating. Online through EventBrite

Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International