Guest post by Anthony Venn-Brown
Celebrate together in Sydney’ Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
People who are same-sex-orientated often feel societal and family pressures to reject or deny their true feelings. This pressure to conform and live as heterosexuals is much more intense for those who come from faith backgrounds, as the belief system says that acceptance or rejection of their sexuality has eternal consequences.
Struggling to change can be private and internal, through one on one personal counselling or support groups. Some of us have gone to the extremes of exorcisms and “ex-gay’ programs. Others married, believing this will solve their “problem’. The journey to find resolution and self–acceptance for gay men and lesbians from Christian backgrounds can be difficult and even traumatic.
This year, Freedom 2 b[e] (a network of LGBT people from Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelical backgrounds) celebrates the journey survivors have travelled to rid ourselves of damaging and outdated beliefs. Beliefs that said our homosexuality was a sin, sickness or the result of a dysfunctional family upbringing. We are no longer victims of our own or others ignorance.
We invite all those who have been through any form of “ex-gay’ therapy or counselling to join Freedom 2 b[e] this year in Sydney’ world famous Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. Family members and friends are welcome to join us.
Marching in the Mardi Gras parade or a Pride march is an empowering experience and an opportunity to put the shame and the “demons’ of the past to rest by publicly declaring that we are out, proud and love being who we are; lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We are the true survivors, no longer pretending, in denial or living in a prison of self hatred.
By celebrating our journeys to resolution we also send a message of hope to others in churches who are yet to find true freedom through loving and accepting themselves.
If you are considering marching with us as a survivor or supporter please register your interest now as numbers are limited.
If you have been through an ex-gay program and would like more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
General inquiries please email email@example.com
Unsure about the importance of participating in the parade? These articles may be helpful.
- Parades – who needs them?
- The First Time Freedom 2 b[e] Marched in Mardi Gras – What happened?
- Read about the experience of some first timers
Please note: In order to meet the requirements of the Mardi Gras organisation and the logistics of the 8,000 strong parade ……and in order for Freedom 2 b[e] to organise t-shirts etc for every participant, all registrations must be in by Friday 12 February 2010. Thanks for your help.
Co-founder and Convenor of freedom 2 b[e]
Connection – Support – Information – Dialogue
Networking LGBT People from Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelical Backgrounds
The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
The Rev. Dorothy McRae McMahon
(Awarded the Australian Government Peace Award and the Human Rights Medal)