Former AOG leader - founder of Youth Alive NSW - now out

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Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
February 7, 2012, 12:19

Update on the story and a little more about Ambassadors and Bridge builders International.

Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International

Creating understanding, acceptance and a better world for LGBTI people of faith

Background: Anthony Venn-Brown’s journey to find resolution of his Christian faith and homosexuality spanned 28 years and included ‘ex-gay’ programs, marriage, children and being a high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches. When his autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning' was released in 2004, he became the first contact point for thousands of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) people from religious backgrounds. He often says ‘It was like my inbox became a microscope into a hidden world as many isolated and alienated people reached out to someone they could relate to; many for the first time’.

Common themes emerged from the emails Anthony received and revealed the enormous suffering experienced by many individual because of misinformation and ignorance about sexuality and gender identity. What also became abundantly clear was that, LGBTI people of faith and religion, not only experience the normal issues of resolving their sexuality, coming out and finding their place in the community, they often experience these things with greater intensity and have additional issues to deal with. Because of the intense cognitive dissonance caused by their faith/sexuality conflict, they are one of the highest risks groups of suicidality, mental health issues and other areas of harm.

Moved by the many heart wrenching stories and great needs, a passion ignited in Anthony to create change. In 2005 he co-founded Freedom 2 b[e]; a support network for LGBTI people from Christian backgrounds. Over the last 6 years, under Anthony’s voluntary leadership, Freedom 2 b[e] has become Australia’s leading organisation for LGBTI people from religious backgrounds. There are now chapter meetings and youth groups around Australia, an online community with over 4,000 visits per month and 30 volunteers and leaders.

Anthony has also become a respected community leader and was twice voted one of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians (2007 & 2009) and was a finalist for ACON’s 2011 Community Hero Award. In June 2011 Anthony resigned as leader of Freedom 2 b[e] enabling him to use his experience and expertise and broaden his work of creating a better world for LGBTI people of faith. Anthony launched Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBl) in November 2011.

ABBI’s Mission & Vision

Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI) is committed to overcoming the unnecessary suffering caused by ignorance and misinformation about sexual orientation and gender identity through by distributing relevant information, providing education and creating dialogues.

Distribution of information

• Bring together Anthony’s 7 current blogs under a central website (

• Utilise social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

• Articles and newsletters

• Speaking engagements & lecturing

• Encourage and promote academic research about LGBTI people from religious backgrounds

• Deconstruct the myth, that homosexuality is dysfunctional and change is possible, currently being promoted by 'ex-gay' organisations such as Exodus

Education & dialogue

• Deliver seminars and workshops focusing on the specific needs of LGBTI people from religious backgrounds for service providers and LGBTI community workers,

• Develop resources for gay and lesbian people in heterosexual marriages as well as LGBTI people from faith backgrounds

• Provide consultancy services for churches transitioning to become welcoming and affirming churches

• Pro-actively engage church leaders and denominations in dialogues

• Create resources (Ebooks and MP3's) and online forum for fellow ‘ambassadors’

• Bridge building projects with churches & the LGBTI community

Media & networking

• Monitor topical and relevant gay, mainstream and religious news for comment

• Press releases and actively develop media contacts

• Promote positive changes as they occur

• Be a connector/maven (The Tipping Point)

• Develop a supportive network of church leaders questioning traditionally held beliefs on homosexuality

• Develop connections in Asia, Oceania and Africa

For further information please email [email protected] or call 0416 015 231

Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
February 7, 2012, 12:30

All sounds great Anthony, you have certainly been busy.

Keep up the excellent work 🙂

Princess _Fiona
Joined in 2011
February 7, 2012, 15:33

Hi Anthony

Loves your work and what your doing, as you know.

Just a quick question, are you planning on updating the website more than the facebook page? You said the aim is that the website flows all sites into one, maybe its my blonde streaks am a little confused as to which is better to check for most up todate info.

Hugs Fiona

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
February 7, 2012, 17:49

Currently I have 7 sites/blogs








All the above will be brought under the one banner of along with my YouTube channel and also my twitter account!/gayambassador. The site where be the most comprehensive and dynamic.

In the meantime you can always keep up to date on my Facebook page

Don’t forget I have a regular newsletter that I send out as well. If you are not on that then you can sign up here

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
February 7, 2012, 18:21

oooooops…..I forgot two more



see how much I need one site……hehe

Joined in 2009
February 7, 2012, 23:58

Yeah, it's going to be a lot easier to refer people on to all that useful info you've generated over the years. Looking forward to it.

Princess _Fiona
Joined in 2011
February 8, 2012, 10:11

Hi Anthony

Thanks for answering my question, I can only imagine how much work is involved in making all 7 sites into 1. Well worth the effort in long run though, and much easier to keep 1 up todate. Till then will enjoy the facebook (likes the cartoon captions) and other ones I keep my eye on.

Wishing you all the best in all your work and effort you put into our community.


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