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 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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