© Anthony Venn-Brown.
Author, Speaker, LGBT Ambassador and Bridge Builder
In 2007 and 2009 Anthony Venn-Brown was voted one of The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians along with well-known ‘out’ celebrities and others making significant contributions behind the scenes. Anthony is one of the few names to have appeared more than once, which is an indication of the impact his work is having both in Australia and globally.
Formerly a leader in the Assemblies of God and popular preacher in Australia’s mega-churches and overseas, for 22 years Anthony tried to change his homosexuality through psychiatric treatment, exorcisms, ‘ex-gay’ programs, 40-day fasts and daily struggles with his ‘problem’. Although happily married for 16 years with two daughters, he eventually had to admit that nothing had changed and in 1991 faced the toughest decision of his life; be true to himself, which would result in losing everything he held dear, or live a lie.
Anthony’s autobiography, ‘A Life of Unlearning’ (now in its second edition) was awarded the SGLBA’s ‘2004 Book of the Year’. Anthony is the co-founder and convenor of Freedom 2 b[e], a global organisation that offers information, support and advocacy for LGBT people from faith and religious backgrounds. He has appeared on national television shows such as ‘60 Minutes’, ‘Channel 7’s Sunrise’ and ‘Mornings with Kerri Anne’, ABC’s ‘Hungry Beast’, as well as many radio programs and print media.
As a gay ambassador, Anthony speaks to a wider audience about gay and lesbian community issues to bring greater understanding and acceptance, by providing a comfortable space where people can ask the often-unasked questions. Anthony’s presentations are always informative, entertaining and inspiring. His audiences quickly realise he is a person who is well informed and speaks from profound personal experience.