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