Spring 2009 Catholic Action – Statement Signers


The following is a list of supporters who have signed our Catholic Action statement. You or your organization are welcome to join. We will deliver a copy of this list to the office of the Vatican at the United Nations in New York City.

Tom Jonas, Minneapolis, MN
Carol Lewis
Eunice Fisher, St. Petersburg, FL
Cathy James, St. Petersburg, FL
Eileen Boyd, Sacramento, CA
Catholics for Marriage Equality, California
Marilyn Bedford, Tulsa, OK
Marriage Equality Silicon Valley
Dean Harpster and Rick Infantino, Silicon Valley, CA
Laurie Pollack, Lansdowne, PA
Thomas Mooney, Aspen, CO
Tom Field
Malcolm J. Blue, Valencia, CA
Bruce Lowe
Lydia Nowak, Shannon, IL
Daniel Morgan
Shaashawn Dial & Studs Magazine
Edward P. Todd, Copake, NY
Edward Morris
Kelli Busey, Dallas, TX
Timothy J. MacGeorge, Washington, DC
Alan Barthel
Rev. Robert L. Morriss, Forrest, VA
Jimmy Creech, Raleigh, NC
Robert Bowers, Columbia, SC
Rev. Dr. Sherry L. Kennedy, Venice, FL
SunCoast Cathedral MCC, Venice, FL
Phil Danielson, Denver, CO
Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies, Dallas, TX
Mary E. Hunt, Silverspring, MD
Jendi Reiter
Kevin Todd
Megan Heeney, St. Louis, MO
Catholic Action Network, St. Louis, MO
Ron and Myrna Ohmann
Mary Ellen Lopata & Casey Lopata, Rochester, NY
Gail McGuire
Rev. Jerry W. Miller
Alan Guno
Peter Grahame & Henry Seale, Albuquerque, NM
Steven Kilgore, Chattanooga, TN
Jerry & Lucy Furlong
Fortunate Families, Rochester, NY
Jim Buckheit, Sacramento, CA
Father Anthony Borka, Orlando, FL
St. Dorothy Catholic Community, Orlando, FL
Ann & Chester Franczyk, Springfield, MA
Linda Karle-Nelson & Tom Nelson, Farmington Hills, MI
Call to Action USA
Kaitlin Starke
Dave Parnell, Raleigh, NC
Michael Kelly, Australia
Rainbow Sash Movement, Australia
Sacramento Call to Action

Michele A. Cole, Altamont, NY
Cris Elkins, Greensboro, NC
Alice R. Schulte, Mooresville, NC
Reverend Fred H. Anderson, Sun City West, AZ
Dave Bart, New Orleans, LA
Charles Arthur Witschorik II, San Jose, CA
Reverend Janine C. Stock, Vista, CA
All Saints American Catholic Church, Vista, CA
Lynn E. Walker
Bill Carpenter, St. Petersburg, FL

Haven Herrin, Saint Paul, MN

Katie Higgins, Minneapolis, MN

Kevin Riley

Chelsea Griffo, Austin, TX

Kathy Stayton

Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists



Hartgrove/Cooper House Party

party info

summer love tickets

equality ride film

party content

For the past eleven years, Soulforce has dedicated itself to ending religion-based discrimination of the LGBTQ community through relentless, educational, nonviolent direct action. Soulforce, headquartered in Austin, Texas, responds to religion-based discrimination by educating, motivating, and activating Middle America. Among Soulforce’s most successful strategies is the development of an energetic young adult program, Soulforce Q, which reaches the hearts and minds of future generations.

The signature program of Soulforce Q is the Equality Ride, which began in 2006 and has run almost every year since. Modeled after the Freedom Rides of the Civil Rights Movement, nearly 75 young adults have reached 80 of the nation’s most discriminatory colleges and universities – colleges and universities that ban or expel LGBTQ students from attending their schools – to enter into a constructive dialogue about sexuality, religion, and education.


summer love tickets

2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference Videos

Anti-Heterosexism Conference

2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference Videos

The 2009 ANTI-HETEROSEXISM CONFERENCE took place November 20-22, 2009 in West Palm Beach, FL and featured some of the most brilliant teachers and thinkers on the subject of psychology and human sexuality and spirituality from the United States, Canada, Australia and Spain.

The opening session features a number of people who are leading the work to end so-called "reparative therapy." Featured speakers are Jeff Lutes, then Executive Director of Soulforce with welcoming and opening remarks; Christine Bakke of Beyond Ex-Gay; Jacob Wilson, Iowa State; Daniel Gonzales, architect and former patient of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi; Darlene Bogle, author and former leader in Exodus International; Anthony Venn Brown, author, life coach, founder of Freedom2Be Ministries and one of the 25 most influential gays and lesbians in Australia; Marc Orozko and Angel Llorent i Pares, activists and ex-gay survivors from Barcelonia, Catalonia, Spain; and Dr. Jallen Rix, author and ex-gay survivor.

Reflections from Survivors of Ex-Gay Ministries and Reparative Therapy (Video runs approximately 50 minutes)

Soulforce Logo

The opening keynote on Saturday morning was provided by Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D. in Human Sexuality. Dr. Rhue serves as Director of Religious Affairs with the National Black Justice Coalition and is a scholar, writer, educator and sought after public speaker. The title of her presentation is "STRAIGHT" Rackets: Why the Religious Right Needs Reparative Therapy.

Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D. (Video runs approximately 58 minutes)

Soulforce Logo

Dr. Jack Drescher, M.D., psychiatrist and psychologist in private practice in New York City presented the second keynote address on Saturday afternoon. He has written and edited over 20 books regarding homosexuality and gender identity. His keynote, "STRAIGHT" Jackets: A Psychiatrist Deconstructs Sexual Conversion Therapies, speaks in great detail about the psychology and psychiatry of homosexuality and the ineffectiveness of so-called "conversion therapies."

Dr Jack Drescher (Video runs approximately 48 minutes)

Soulforce Logo

The closing keynote on Sunday morning was brilliantly provided by the Rev. Deborah Johnson, founder and pastor of Inner Light Ministries and successful author, trainer, activist and more! Her presentation is titled "It Just Ain’t So": Debunking the Myth of Gender Polarity and it provides a clear vision for the future and a call to action for the LGBTQ liberation movement. See more about Rev. Johnson here.

Rev Deborah Johnson (Video runs approximately 46 minutes)

Soulforce Logo

Mean Church People, an original song performed at the Anti-Heterosexism Conference on Sunday morning by Jackie and Resa. (Video runs approximately 3.5 minutes)


SPONSORS of the 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference are: SOULFORCE, Truth Wins Out, National Black Justice Coalition, Box Turtle Bulletin, Beyond Ex-Gay and Equality Florida.

2009 Conference Schedule

Anti-Heterosexism Conference

The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference
Building Community to End the Harm Caused By Heterosexism & Reparative Therapy

Sponsored by
Soulforce, Truth Wins Out, the National Black Justice Coalition, Beyond Ex-Gay, Box Turtle Bulletin, and Equality Florida

November 20-22, 2009
West Palm Beach, Florida

Dr. Sylvia Rhue, Dr. Jack Drescher, and Rev. Deborah Johnson

Dr. Sylvia RhueDr. Jack DrescherRev. Deborah Johnson
Early Registration begins August 20 and ends November 5, 2009

SCHEDULE (subject to change):

Friday, November 20, 2009

9:00AM-5:00PM: Pre-conference Institute: A Gathering for "Ex-Gay" Survivors
4:00PM Conference Registration and Check-In
7:30PM Opening Remarks: Jeff Lutes, M.S., L.P.C.
7:45PM Reflections from Survivors of Ex-Gay Ministries & Reparative Therapy
8:30PM Reception by the pool, cash bar open.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

8:00AM Registration/Check-In
9:00AM Welcome: Marsha McDonough, Ph.D. and Paul W. Dodd, D.Min., L.P.C.
9:15AM Keynote Address:

  • "STRAIGHT" Rackets: Why the Religious Right Needs Reparative Therapy
    Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D.

10:15AM Break
10:30AM-12:00PM Concurrent Workshops (Session 1)

  1. The Effects of Homophobic Stress in Childhood and Adolescence on Later Adult Psychological Functioning in Gay Men: A Model for Treatment
    Dominic Carbone, Ph.D.
  2. Getting It Straight: Ex-Gay Survivors and Their Therapeutic Needs
    Christine Bakke and Jallen Rix, Ed.D.
  3. Media Access: Getting Through the Noise
    Gabriel Arana

12:00PM – 1:30PM Lunch
1:30PM – 3:00PM Concurrent Workshops (Session 2)

  1. Microaggressions and the LGBT Community: Advocating for Social Justice on Individual, Institutional, and Societal Levels
    Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.; David Rivera, M.S.; Melissa Corpus, M.A.; Lauren Fisher, M.A.
  2. Heterosexual Interrupted: What the Ex-Gay Movement Really Means By "Change"
    Jim Burroway
  3. Heterosexism and Transgender Oppression
    Virginia Stephenson & Jordan Johnson

3:00PM-3:15PM Break
3:15PM-4:45PM Concurrent Workshops (Session 3)

  1. Genocidal Intentions: Public Policy and the Ex-Gay Movement
    Christine Robinson, Ph.D.
  2. Body & Soul: Integrating Sexuality & Spirituality
    Timothy Palmer, M. Div.
  3. Pray Away the Gay?
    Wayne Besen

4:45PM – 5:00PM Break
5:00PM – 6:00PM Keynote Address:

  • "STRAIGHT" Jackets: A Psychiatrist Deconstructs Sexual Conversion Therapies
    Jack Drescher, M.D.

6:00PM Dinner
7:30PM-9:00PM: M.U.D. (Men Under Dirt) – A Special Evening Performance by Ollom Movement Art
(Champagne and chocolate served)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

9:00 – 10:00AM Keynote Address:

  • "It Just Ain’t So": Debunking the Myth of Gender Polarity
    Rev. Deborah L. Johnson

10:00-10:15AM Break

10:15 – 11:45 Concurrent Workshops (Session 4)

  1. Media 101: How to Build and Deliver an Effective Message
    Brian Winfield
  2. Spiritual Self-Defense for LGBT Christians
    Rev. Candace Chellew
  3. Queering Youth/Young Adult Activism
    Andi Gentile and Asher Kolieboi

12:00-1:00PM Lessons Learned This Weekend: A Conversation About Implementing Effective Strategies In Our Communities
Marsha McDonough, Ph.D.; Paul W. Dodd, D.Min., L.P.C.

1:00 PM Adjourn


Update from the 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference

Anti-Heterosexism Conference

Click here to see photos from the conference!

Click here to view videos from the conference!

2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference Deemed Ground-Breaking

The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference held November 20-22, 2009 in West Palm Beach, Florida, was deemed a huge success by those in attendance at the conference. Bloggers, activists and mental health professionals from across the United States, as well as Australia, Canada and Catalonia came together on November 20-22, 2009 in West Palm Beach, FL to learn more about the powerful impact that heterosexism, the belief that every human being is heterosexual…or that they should be! Ex-gay survivors, painfully impacted by heterosexism shared their stories and discussed ways in which they could continue to warn others about the harm caused by heterosexism, reparative therapy and ex-gay ministries. And, psychologists and other mental health professionals shared current research and understanding about heterosexism and how it creates a dangerous and unwelcoming climate for LGBTQ people. A press conference facilitated by Jeff Lutes on Friday was covered by a local television network affiliate with the report ending with survivor Daniel Gonzales warning viewers about the depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems related to sexual orientation change efforts.

Ex-Gay Survivor Daniel Gonzales shares his story with a reporter.That evening, Ex-Gay Survivors Christine Bakke, Jallen Rix, Anthony Venn-Brown (Australia), Darlene Bogle, Mark Orozko (Barcelona) Daniel Gonzales, and Jacob Wilson told their stories to the conference participants – demonstrating great courage and strength in the process. They shared the many ways in which heterosexism encourages harmful reparative therapies. After a brief welcoming reception, conference goers attended a special Transgender Day of Remembrance event by viewing two films and the names of the more than one hundred transgender people who have been murdered in the past year. Friday night was a sobering reminder of the damage and destruction caused by heterosexism, religion-based bigotry, and societal prejudice. Conference participants went to bed eager to begin collaborating over the next two days on ways they can make the world a safer place for LGBTQ people.

Saturday morning began with a keynote from Dr. Sylvia Rhue of the National Black Justice Coalition. Mixing facts and humor, Dr. Rhue set the tone for the day and whet appetites for more learning. Workshops throughout the day covered detailed information about sexual orientation change efforts, public policy and the ex-gay movement, media training, youth activism, and the psychological impact of childhood homophobia on adult development. Dr. Jack Drescher closed the afternoon with a history lesson on how homosexuality was removed from the DSM list of mental disorders in 1973 and the evolution of reparative therapy and ex-gay movements. His academic presentation was well received by all those in attendance. After dinner, the day closed with a powerful and moving dance performance by Ollum Movement Art which symbolically expressed the journey from self-hatred to self-acceptance and love.Rev.-Deborah-Johnson,-Dr.-Sylvia-Rhue,-Valerie-Joi,-and-friends.

Sunday morning was a treat. The Rev. Deborah Johnson talked about the importance of developing a vision within the LGBTQ movement and carefully unpacked the complexities of gender in our culture as she called on the crowd to demand equality in bold and unapologetic ways. After a series of workshops on faith, gender, and sexual orientation, Dr. Marsha McDonough and Dr. Paul Dodd led participants in an analysis of the weekend and helped everyone think about ways they could continue to affect change within the communities where they live, work, go to school, and worship.

Throughout this dynamic weekend, conference participants wrote thoughts, feelings, and ideas on a 40-foot piece of paper hung in the plenary room. Long after the end of the conference, participants were still writing on this paper – indicating their passion for the justice, their commitment to love, and their dedication to being agents of change in the world.

Anti-Heterosexism Conference Speaker Bios

Anti-Heterosexism Conference

The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference
Building Community to End the Harm Caused By Heterosexism & Reparative Therapy

About the Workshop Presenters:


Dominic Carbone, Ph.D.

Dr. Carbone is a member of the Psychology faculty at Sussex County Community College in New Jersey, as well as a part-time faculty member at the State University of New York – Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He holds an M.A. degree in Applied Developmental Psychology and Education from Teachers College – Columbia University in New York City; an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Developmental Psychopathology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Psychotherapy with a concentration in Gender Studies and Sexuality from the Institute for Human Identity in New York City. He is a practicing psychologist in both New York and Pennsylvania, and has served on the executive boards of several human service organizations, published professionally, and presented at both national and international conferences regarding a variety of topics in the fields of developmental psychology, clinical psychology, business psychology and organizational development.

Christine Bakke

Christine grew up in a fundamentalist Christian family. Most of her education came from small Christian schools and church. Her education about sexuality, and homosexuality in particular, came from the various Focus on the Family books and publications by the American Family Association. Understandably, she was not able to accept the attractions she had for women and believed the the ex-gay movement’s slogan that said, "Change is Possible!" After five years of ex-gay ministries (including Exodus and Living Waters), deliverance (what some might call exorcisms), reparative therapy, and many hours at the altar and in prayer, she began to realize that in spite of many other positive changes, her orientation had not changed. Now, Christine is an artist, blogger, freelance graphic designer, and co-founder of Beyond Ex-Gay with Peterson Toscano. She has told her story on Good Morning America and in Glamour Magazine, and been interviewed online by Colorado Confidential and several podcasts and radio shows, including the Colorado Public Radio show, Colorado Matters. Beyond Ex-Gay, Soulforce, and The GLBT Center at UC Irvine created the first ever "Ex-Gay Survivor Conference" in 2007, followed by The Survivor’s Initiative, a series of press conferences across the United States that served as a witness and a warning about the harm caused by ex-gay programs.

Jallen Rix, Ed.D.

Speaker, author, and educator, Jallen Rix has come a long way to be a sex expert. Growing up as a Southern Baptist, he was taught that spirituality was heavenly but sexuality was from the devil. While obtaining a B.A. in creative arts and a minor in theology, he also went to great lengths attempting to change his sexuality from gay to straight in an ex-gay ministry — to no avail. That experience set him on a journey of discovery that ultimately resulted in Jallen earning his Doctorate of Education in Sexology from The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. This has equipped him to teach human sexuality at the university level as well as consult in private practice. His speciality is innovative perspectives in sex education. Over the years, Jallen has become an expert on the damaging effects of, and recovery from, the ex-gay movement. He has appeared on TV talk shows, such as Talk or Walk and ABC’s News Magazine 20/20. He also pens the popular advice column, Sex Ed in Bed. As an educator, Jallen creates an accepting and safe environment that provides support, humor and insight for a wide variety of audiences.

Gabriel Arana

Gabriel Arana is a journalist living in Washington, D.C. and works for the The American Prospect. His pieces have appeared in The Nation, Slate, The Advocate, the New York Blade, the Orlando Sentinel and other publications. He is a regular contributor to Box Turtle Bulletin, an LGBT news and analysis blog. He holds degrees in linguistics from both Yale University and Cornell University.

Kevin L. Nadal, Ph.D.

Dr. Nadal is a professor, psychologist, performer, activist, and author who received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Columbia University. He is an assistant professor of psychology and mental health counseling at John Jay College of Criminal Justice – City University of New York. His research focuses on multicultural issues, namely issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, and he has published over 30 works in books and journals in psychology and education. His first book, Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice, was released in 2009. He has given keynote speeches, lectures, and workshop presentations at over 100 conferences, colleges, and universities across the country. He is also a consultant who has trained various local and national institutions on LGBT issues and mental health.

David P. Rivera, M.S.

David Rivera is a therapist, multicultural researcher and doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has degrees from John Hopkins University and the University of Wyoming. The bulk of his professional experience is in higher education administration, including multicultural affairs, academic and career advising, and counseling center work. Areas of research and clinical interest include racism and anti-racism, microaggressions, Latina/o issues, gender and sexual orientation identity development, and college student development. His microaggression research on Latina/o Americans and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals will be published in the upcoming book Microaggressions and Marginalized Groups in Society: Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Class, and Religious Manifestations. He has received multiple recognitions for his work, including the 2008 Emerging Leader Award from the American College Counseling Association for his research on campus climate issues for LGBT persons.

Melissa Corpus, M.A.

Melissa Corpus is a 5th-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned a Master’s degree in Counseling & Guidance from New York University in 2005. While working on her doctorate, Melissa participates in numerous qualitative research projects that primarily focus on the intersections of identities: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and social class. She is an active member of Barangay – an LGBT Filipino American organization in New York, and she has presented many workshops and presentations on issues affecting lesbians of color. She is also currently working as an adjunct academic advisor at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY.

Lauren D. Fisher, M.A.

Lauren Fisher is a therapist, researcher of sexual minority women’s career experiences, and doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her Master’s degree in counseling psychology at Boston College and worked as a licensed mental health counselor for adolescent girls prior to pursuing her doctoral degree. Areas of clinical interest primarily include psychological assessment and the experiences of LGBT individuals in the workplace. In her current position as a psychological extern at The Hope Program in Brooklyn, NY, she is able to combine these interests by supervising other doctoral externs on psychological assessment, and facilitating "Respect in the Workplace: Working with LGBT Individuals," an interactive workshop that aims to increase understanding of homophobia and heterosexism, workplace discrimination, and the legal ramifications of engaging in discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace.

Jim Burroway
Jim Burroway is the founder and editor of Box Turtle Bulletin, a website that focuses on research of anti-gay scientific claims, and the interpretations of LGBT life in a heterosexual world. Jim is published in the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, and the text book, "Resurgent Diseases," a volume in the Opposing Viewpoints series by Greenhaven Press. His daily blog enlighten readers to the antics of the ex-gay movement, the harmful impact of heterosexism and homophobia, and world news and politics as it related to the LGBT community. He has authored The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing: A Critical Examination of the Family Research Council’s Amicus Curiae Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals Opposing Gay Marriage; Straight From The Source: What the "Dutch Study" Really Says About Gay Couples; "Repeat After Me": The Reparative Therapy Echo Chamber; From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s "Love Won Out," and the parody The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths, among other articles.

Virginia Stephenson
Virginia Stephenson is the Founder of the New Mexico Gender Advocacy Information Network (NMGAIN) and Soulforce Albuquerque ( a local chapter of Soulforce). She is a board member and past Executive Director of Equality New Mexico. She was active as a lobbyist in the New Mexico Legislature in 2003 when non-discrimination and hate crimes laws passed that included sexual orientation and gender identity. She is a past Board member of PFLAG – Albuquerque where she was part of the speaker’s bureau. Virginia has conducted numerous trainings to public groups on political lobbying and influence, "transgender 101," nonviolent protest, and employment and student rights for transgender people.

Jordon Johnson
Jordon Johnson is a doctoral student in American Studies at the University of New Mexico and the Interim Executive Director of Equality New Mexico. Johnson has presented locally and nationally on transgender issues such as at the White Privilege Conference. He is chair of the National Association of Social Workers – New Mexico LGBT Task Force, active with Advocates for Equity in New Mexico, and committed to end oppression as well as build and strengthen alliances across differences.

Christine M. Robinson, Ph.D.

Dr. Robinson is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at James Madison University in Virginia. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Kansas. She has published peer-reviewed articles, presented conference papers, written an online article, and a published a scholarly book review on issues related to the ex-gay movement. She is a 2009 recipient of the Monette-Horwitz Trust Award (honoring individuals and organizations for their significant contributions toward eradicating homophobia), the 2009 Christopher L. Gatesman Service Award, the 2009 Faculty Diversity Enhancement Award by the Office of the President at James Madison University, and in 2007 received the Blossoming Professional Award by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

Timothy Palmer, M.Div.
Timothy Palmer is director of communications for the Religious Institute and leads its initiatives on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion. He is co-author of A Time to Seek: Study Guide on Sexual and Gender Diversity, published by the Religious Institute in 2007, and lead researcher and co-author of the Survey of Religious Progressives (2009). His latest project, titled Acting Out Loud, is an online guide promoting full inclusion of LGBT persons and families in communities of faith. He has an master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Before entering seminary, he was an executive speechwriter and director of communications for the IBM Corporation in Armonk, N.Y. He was actively engaged in sexual justice issues in his home state of Texas, providing pro bono services to the Texas AIDS Network, the Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Day project, the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and GLAAD. He currently serves on the Committee on LGBT Concerns for the Episcopal Diocese of New York and is a member of the vestry of St. Michael’s Church in Manhattan.

Wayne Besen
Wayne Besen is the Founding Executive Director of Truth Wins Out and author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth" (Haworth, 2003). In 2006, Besen was named one of the Advocate Magazine’s "People of the Year" for his work with TWO. Besen has appeared as a guest on leading news and political talk shows including: the NBC Nightly News, CNN’s Talk Back Live and The Point, Fox’s O’Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes, MSNBC News and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Prior to founding TWO, Besen served as a spokesperson for five years with the Human Rights Campaign.

Brian Winfield
Brian Winfield has been the Communications Director for Equality Florida since 2001. He has an MBA from NYU – Stern School of Business and is a SPIN Academy Graduate (2003). Over the past eight years, Brian has trained hundreds of people on how to work with the media, frame their message effectively, and stay on message. Brian’s interactive course – "Media 101: Build and Deliver an Effective Message" – is often rated "most valuable" by course participants. Brian has personally worked with every market in Florida, having developed strong messages resulting in material being published or quoted in every major Florida news outlet, including NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, Cable News, St. Petersburg Times, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Tribune, Jacksonville Times Union, Ft. Meyers News Press, Sarasota Herald Tribune, and others. While the world of news delivery is changing rapidly, Brian believes that the fundamentals remain the same: build a strong, precise, values based message, frame it for the broadcast audience, pick the right messenger, and stay on message no matter what.

Rev. Candace Chellew
Rev. Chellew is the founder and editor of Whosoever: An Online Magazine for GLBT Christians. Her first book, Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians, published by Jossey-Bass, is now available at www.bulletproofbook.com. She currently serves as the associate pastor at Garden of Grace United Church of Christ in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also a spiritual director, trained through the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. She has worked for two decades in the fields of journalism and public relations.

Andi Gentile
Andi Gentile is a Grassroots Organizer for Soulforce Q, the young adult activism division of Soulforce. She hails from New York City, and is a recent New York-to-Austin, Texas convert. Since her high school years, she has been dedicated to social justice work, particularly activism within the LGBTQ movement. Andi earned her BA in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Psychology from Wesleyan University in May, 2008. There she focused her academic pursuits on feminist and queer theory, and has striven to find innovative ways to put theory into action. Andi has continued to be drawn to LGBTQ activism; outside of Soulforce she has had the opportunity to organize with the impressive and inspiring young people at Texas GSA Network and Out Youth. When not concentrating on her passion for change, she fancies herself a cook, writer, and globetrotter — but she’s always looking for new things to add to the list.

Asher Kolieboi
Asher Kolieboi is a Grassroots Organizer for Soulforce Q, the young adult activism division of Soulforce. Asher hails from Saint Louis, Missouri by way of Monrovia, Liberia. Since his high school years, he has worked for social and economic justice with a special focus on race, gender, and sexuality. Asher earned his BA in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia in May 2009 and recently relocated to Austin, Texas to join the Soulforce team.

Marsha McDonough, Ph.D.
Dr. McDonough earned her doctorate from the University of Texas in Austin and has been practicing as a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist for over 15 years. She is an approved supervisor and continuing education sponsor for psychologists and family therapists, and leads a bi-weekly consultation group for other mental health professionals. She has published extensively and trained hundreds of professionals in collaborative, post modern approaches to working with couples, families, and children in therapy. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Member; the American Psychological Association; the National Association of School Psychologists, and the Texas Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Paul W. Dodd, D.Min., LPC
As a pastoral counselor and psychotherapist, Paul Dodd seeks to honor the whole person — spiritually, emotionally and physically. He integrates the insights of postmodern psychology and process theology, drawing from a wide range of therapies, including psychodynamic, object relations, family systems, cognitive, behavioral, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Paul says, "Above all, I seek to affirm my clients and recognize the gifts they bring to this important moment in their lives, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or religious background." He is a Professional Member of the American Counseling Association, and a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Paul is a retired Army Chaplain, having retired in the rank of Colonel, where he served as Command Chaplain of the U.S. Army Medical Command. He has extensive knowledge and experience in counseling service members, veterans and their families.



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Anti-Heterosexism Conference Speaker Abstracts

Anti-Heterosexism Conference

The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference
Building Community to End the Harm Caused By Heterosexism & Reparative Therapy

Presentation Abstracts (Session 1-4)

The Effects of Homophobic Stress in Childhood and Adolescence on Later Adult Psychological Functioning in Gay Men: A Model for Treatment

Dominic Carbone, Ph.D.
Chronic psychological stressors experienced in childhood and adolescence can result in pronounced disturbances in adulthood functioning. Through the use of case presentations this workshop will explore how chronic homophobia is experienced by gay male youth and why homophobia is particularly stressful for this group. Coping responses to homophobia will be discussed, including how some responses can result in self-destructive outcomes and psychological disturbances in adulthood. The workshop will explore a psychotherapeutic treatment model designed specifically to address the needs of the gay male client and will conclude with prevention strategies for future generations of gay youth.

Getting It Straight: Ex-Gay Survivors and Their Therapeutic Needs

Christine Bakke & Jallen Rix, Ed.D.
Ex-gay survivors Christine Bakke and Jallen Rix, Ed.D., recognize firsthand the complications and complexities of receiving therapeutic help after enduring the ex-gay process. Ex-gay survivors often resist or even avoid treatment from LGBT-affirming therapists. Designed for all types of mental health workers, this workshop will provide essential background information to help clinicians create a safe and understanding environment that will lead ex-gay survivors to regain trust in a therapeutic process.

Media Access: Getting Through the Noise

Gabriel Arana
Even with the rise of blogging, reaching people on a large scale requires access to major media organizations. This presentation will give you the tools to effectively maneuver the media world and gain access to the print and online publications, PR reps, and journalists that will help you broadcast your story and become a more effective advocate.

Microaggressions and the LGBT Community: Advocating for Social Justice on Individual, Institutional, and Societal Levels

Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.; David Rivera, M.S.; Melissa Corpus, M.A.; Lauren Fisher, M.A.
Sexual orientation and transgender microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities (whether intentional or unintentional) that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative heterosexist and transphobic slights and insults toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Microaggressions have been found to have negative impacts on individuals’ mental health and well-being. This interactive workshop will encourage discussions on personal experiences with microaggressions while providing recommendations for preventing microaggressions on individual, institutional, and societal levels.

Heterosexual Interrupted: What the Ex-Gay Movement Really Means By "Change"

Jim Burroway
The Ex-Gay movement claims that there are no homosexuals, just heterosexuals with a homosexual problem. This "Ex-Gay 101" workshop explores the heteronormative narrative which our culture expects young people to follow as they date, marry, and have families. When that narrative is interrupted, the ex-gay movement is there to explain what went wrong and how to fix it. But for many ex-gays and their families, the fix is not what they hoped for.

Heterosexism and Transgender Oppression
Virginia Stephenson and Jordon Johnson
Many cultural assumptions exist and force transgender people into undesired identities. These assumptions may prevent transgender people from exploring their preferred relationship with gender and their bodies. In looking at cultural assumptions, it is vital to discuss how racism and sexism operate in relation to transgender people. This presentation offers both male to female and female to male perspectives, as well as ways to support transgender people to end heterosexist oppression.

Genocidal Intentions: Public Policy and the Ex-Gay Movement
Christine Robinson, Ph.D.
When considering harm and the ex-gay movement, attention has largely been devoted to the harm posed to individuals who pursue various forms of "change" promised by "ex-gay" ministries and "reparative" therapists. This presentation addresses the potential for extreme harm posed to LGBT people world-wide, by examining the rhetoric and public policy positions of prominent ex-gay organizations and representatives. This presentation seriously considers the genocidal intentions and implications of the movement’s rhetoric and policy agenda.

Body & Soul: Integrating Sexuality & Spirituality
Timothy Palmer, M.Div.
Early in Christian history, the body became disconnected from the soul and physicality began to carry the taint of sin and shame. Today, growing numbers of theologians, clergy and people of faith recognize sexuality — in all its diversity — as a sacred part of creation. This workshop will explore the dimensions of sexuality, with attention to the current science on sexual orientation and gender. Participants will contemplate how spirituality infuses each dimension of our sexuality.

Pray Away the Gay?

Wayne Besen
This session is an overview of the history of the ex-gay myth. It explores the main players, the harmful treatments, the bizarre techniques and the political players behind these programs.

Media 101: How to Build and Deliver an Effective Message

Brian Winfield
Over the past eight years, Brian Winfield has trained hundreds of people how to make the media work for them. While the world of news delivery is rapidly changing around us, the fundamentals of successfully working with the media remain the same. This interactive course will teach participants the skills to build a strong values-based message, frame it for the broadest audience, pick the right messenger, and consistently stay on message no matter what.

Spiritual Self-Defense for LGBT Christians

Rev. Candace Chellew
LGBT people and their allies don’t have to be at the mercy of those who preach condemnation. We can empower ourselves and recapture our connection to God. In this workshop, pastor and author Candace Chellew teaches participants how to answer hatred or condemnation, how to avoid pointless religious debates, how to see opponents as God’s gifts, and how to use spiritual practices to reclaim an authentic self.

Queering Youth/Young Adult Activism

Andi Gentile and Asher Kolieboi
Starting with an historic lens, we will discuss the power and potential in youth/young adult-led social movements, specifically queer and anti-racist movements. We will shine light on innovative ways young people can organize and network, using new technology, the university system, and youth led grassroots organization structures. We will emphasize the role of intersectional coalition building within social movements. This workshop will include an outline of youth empowerment models and models of successful youth organizing using specific examples. We will draw on resources from pioneering radical organizing thinking to present inventive ways youth and young adults are mobilizing to create change.



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Anti-Heterosexism Conference Fees

Anti-Heterosexism Conference

The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference
Building Community to End the Harm Caused By Heterosexism & Reparative Therapy


Pre-Conference Institute for Ex-Gay Survivors $50
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, 9AM – 4PM

Early Registration (begins Aug. 20, ends Nov. 5, 2009)
Full Conference (Nov. 20, 7:30PM – Nov. 22, Noon) $145
Student (school I.D. required) & Ex-Gay Survivors $95

Regular Registration (Nov. 6 – Nov. 20, 2009)
Full Conference (Nov. 20, 7:30PM – Nov. 22, Noon) $195
Students & Ex-Gay Survivors $120

One Day Only : Saturday, Nov. 21, 9AM-10PM $100
One Day Only (Sat): Students & Ex-Gay Survivors $80

Continuing Education Certificate $20

Exhibit Tables: For-Profit (per 6-foot table) $200
Exhibit Tables: Non-Profit/Authors/etc (per 6-foot table) $100
Electricity for Booth $30

Corporate Sponsors (program listing + admission for one) $600
Individual Sponsors (program listing + admission for one) $300

Conference Scholarships (a limited number available for
those who cannot otherwise afford to attend) $25


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Anti-Heterosexism Conference Keynotes

Anti-Heterosexism Conference

The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference
Building Community to End the Harm Caused By Heterosexism & Reparative Therapy


Dr. Sylvia RhueDr. Sylvia Rhue is the Interim Executive Director and Director of Religious Affairs for the National Black Justice Coalition. Previously, she was employed as the California Freedom to Marry Coalition Manager, the Director of Equal Partners in Faith, and she worked with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights. She also worked at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center as the Assistant Director of Counseling, and then as the Policy and Public Affairs Advocate. A native Californian, she graduated from UCLA with a Masters Degree in Social Work and received a Doctorate in Human Sexuality from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. She is the first African American to receive this degree. Dr. Rhue is the co-producer of the award-winning film "All God’s Children" and she is an expert on the "ex-gay" movement, which she calls "the cult of the annihilation of the authentic self". Dr. Rhue is a noted public speaker, a documentarian, a religious scholar and a writer.


Dr. Jack DrescherDr. Jack Drescher, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the DSM-V Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders. Dr. Drescher is President-Elect of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at New York Medical College, and Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. He is Author of Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man, Emeritus Editor of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, and has edited 20 books, including Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, Clinical and Research Perspectives and Ex-Gay Research: Analyzing the Spitzer Study and Its Relation to Science, Religion, Politics and Culture.


Rev. Deborah L. JohnsonRev. Deborah L. Johnson is the founder of The Motivational Institute and Inner Light Ministries in Santa Cruz, CA. A dynamic trainer, facilitator, and public speaker, she is known for her ability to bring clarity to complex and emotionally charged issues. Author of The Sacred Yes and Your Deepest Intent, she was recently featured in NPR’s Tell Me More/Faith Matters, Showtime’s Jumpin’ the Broom, and the film God and Gays: Bridging the Gap. A co-litigant in two landmark cases, Rev Johnson set precedent for the inclusion of sexual orientation in California’s Civil Rights Bill in 1984 and defeated the challenge to the State’s Domestic Partnership in 2007. Formerly, the Co-Chair of NGLTF and Board member of the Los AngelesCenter, Rev Johnson is the recent recipient of the National Black Justice Coalition’s first Pioneer of Faith Award. An instructor at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Business Executive Leadership LGBT Institute and the Pacific School of Religion, she holds a BA from USC, an MBA from UCLA, and a ministerial degree from the Holmes Institute. She and her life-partner of 12 years, Valerie Joi Fiddmont, legally married in October, 2008.




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