Why I wept in a West Hollywood hotel room for 35 minutes

So much has happened since my trip to attend the Amplify Asia Conference in Hong Kong and then to the United States to attend the Exodus International conference. It would take me a week to write about it everything. But I know no one has the time to read all that! You MUST know about this though.

At the Exodus conference, in Orange County, CA, I met two lovely people Linda and Rob Robertson. The theme of the Exodus conference was "True Stories" and I could tell from the first conference meeting that there was a new authenticity coming forth from those who shared.  Linda's brother Don, an openly gay police sergeant, who works for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, kept saying "you must see Rob and Linda presentation tomorrow morning" (said several times for emphasis). 

Of course I wanted to be there (even though I didn't know the full extent of the story) but I HAD to write a newsletter and blog about the ground breaking announcement(media release) the night before, when the president, Alan Chambers (video) said that Exodus International days were over. It took the entire morning to write so I arrived back at the conference at lunch time just as the meeting was finishing.

Linda's brother Don, kept saying "you should have been here"..."you should have been here" 

I felt guilty but I knew I had to let supporters and friends of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International know ASAP about that Exodus was closing its doors.

It wasn't till conference ended that I finally got to see Rob and Linda's presentation "Just Because He Breathes" about their son Ryan.
Watching on my laptop in the hotel room I began sobbing (and did for sometime later) and realised it was probably meant to be that I missed this meeting. Had I actually been there I'd have wept so loudly that I would have had to leave the auditorium. 

Since commencing this work, I have heard lots of stories. And when I say lots.... I am talking 100's and 100's. Many unheard or had never been shared with anyone. Always moving ....many heart-wrenching.  Rob and Linda's story stands out as one of the most powerful of all.  It was both courageous and inspiring of them to talk about their journey so openly and to do it at an Exodus conference.

Its powerful because it graphically demonstrates the tragedies that occur when Christian parents, friends, pastors, church leaders and youth pastors, no matter how well meaning, without a well-informed and balanced understanding of sexual orientation will only regurgitate ignorance and misinformation.  The impacts of ignorance and misinformation have had devastating impacts on gay and lesbian people young and old alike. 

Make sure you WATCH and SHARE the video with as many people as possible. Particularly pastors, church leaders and Christian friends who are yet to understand that being gay or lesbian is not a sin, choice or can be changed.  And that holding on to these outdated beliefs is devastating individual lives and families. 

This 35 minutes could change things forever. 
Find out more about Rob, Linda and Ryan's story here Just Because He breathes 

PS: if you would like to support this recent project "The Secret Mission" then you can see the barometer and details here

© Anthony Venn-Brown 
Twitter: @gayambassador 
Facebook: Anthony Venn-Brown - A Life of Unlearning
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Website: www.gayambassador.com 
Email:  info@gayambassador.com 

Anthony Venn-Brown is the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b, Australia’s largest network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds. He is also an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ‘ex-gay’ myth. Anthony’s autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning', details his journey from married, high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches to living as an openly gay man. Anthony has been twice voted ‘One of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’ (2007 & 2009) and  was one of four finalists for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award. He is also the founder and director of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.

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