Good Monday morning from Notting Hill!
Yesterday I posted a blog on the latest stage of finding more freedom and happiness as a catholic gay man. The response was by in large very positive with just one or two people expressing some discomfort.
It got me thinking of how controversial just being gay is and how much division a life like mine causes for just being me!
Another person who could relate to this is a man called Anthony Venn-Brown. He even wrote a book on it.
#ALifeOfUnlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith’
𝑱𝒂𝒔𝒐𝒏’𝒔 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒓𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒍𝒐𝒂𝒌 𝒐𝒇 𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝑰’𝒅 𝒘𝒓𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒅 𝒎𝒚𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒊𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔. 𝑭𝒐𝒓 𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒌𝒔, 𝑰’𝒅 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆. 𝑹𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐𝒖𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒎𝒆 𝒔𝒐 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒇𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒍𝒚, 𝑰’𝒅 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒔𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒉𝒊𝒎. 𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒊𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒈𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒔𝒐 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒚 𝒘𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒈?
“𝗔𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗻𝘆 𝗩𝗲𝗻𝗻-𝗕𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵-𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝗣𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗰𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗿, 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻, 𝘄𝗵𝗼’𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝘄𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘆-𝘁𝘄𝗼 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗴𝗮𝘆. 𝗔 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗨𝗻𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝗴𝗮𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗽𝘆, 𝗲𝘅𝗼𝗿𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗺𝘀, 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗼𝗽𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗔𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗮’𝘀 𝗺𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗰𝗵𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗲𝘀, 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗮𝘀 𝗛𝗶𝗹𝗹𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗴. 𝗔 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝘂𝘀𝘁𝘀 𝗵𝗶𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝗮 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗮𝘇𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗹, 𝗿𝗲𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻. 𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗴𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗻𝗼 𝗮𝗻𝘀𝘄𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘂𝗻𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗯𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗻𝘀. 𝗚𝗮𝘆, 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁, 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗿 𝗻𝗼𝗻-𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀, 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱, 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗿𝘂𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗻𝘆’𝘀 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆
3rd edition now released in paperback and eBook
Author: Anthony Venn-Brown
eBook ASIN: B00QDRYYQK
Available through all online retailers such as Amazon http://amzn.to/1RIpTkH , The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble
Order at any bookstore using ISBN 9780994152411
Sydney: The Bookshop Darlinghurst
Melbourne: Hares Hyenas
Reviews, readers comments and endorsements and Channel 7 Sunrise interview here http://www.ALifeOfUnlearniing.com
As I sat in Tyburn Convent last night and prayed for my ministry I reflected on the struggle of bringing the light and hope and joy of Christ to the catholic gay community and the terrible battle people like me face.
It’s not a ‘red martyrdom’ like the martyrs of Tyburn but it most certainly is a ‘white marytdom’.
Anthony’s story like my own sums it up.
Ironically I never met Anthony when I lived in Australia and even more ironic is the fact that the ministry I was involved with at the time (Living Waters) hated Anthony and his ministry and his story.
At times we used to even pray for Anthony’s conversion and saying his name in the office was like saying a bad word in church.
Looking back on it I see now that Anthony was a step ahead of me. He’d been through the “you can’t be gay” stage, he’d had the healing prayers and deliverance prayers and yep, he was still gay!
Very bravely he decided to talk about it and to this day many people hate his guts, hate his ministry and are convinced that he’s wrong. A story that sounds all too familiar.
Yet Anthony’s ministry has gone from strength to strength and recently he was offered a prestigious Australian award for his work and help to the LGBT community.
Perhaps it’s the fact that my sister moved to Australia yesterday that also got me thinking about Anthony but whatever it is I’m very grateful to God for people like him who have already walked the walk and are a light of hope and inspiration for people like me and for the gay community.
And so as I sum up today and uniting my prayers with the nuns at Tyburn I pray for all the catholic (priests and laity) who are still on the journey to freedom and who have not yet been able to come out like Anthony and be shining lights of hope and change to the church and world.
Thanks for reading and God bless Anthony and his wonderful ministry.