A Life of Unlearning

A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church, and faith.

There comes a time when we have to face realities in life. For some, reality slaps them in the face, refusing to be ignored.

On the surface, everything looked perfect. Anthony Venn-Brown was a popular, high-profile, Pentecostal preacher in Australia’s growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, and happily married father-of-two. Behind the scenes was a different story. Believing homosexuality made him unacceptable to God and others,  a secret battle was being fought. After twenty-two years of prayer, struggle, torment, gay conversion therapy and marriage, a chance meeting forced Anthony to make the toughest decision of his life. Tired of feeling torn and fragmented, he confessed and came out. Abandoned by his church and Christian friends Anthony began his life of unlearning; a lonely journey that made him who he is today.

This honest account highlights not only the costs of being true to yourself but that the rewards of authenticity and integrity are worth it.

As Anthony’s story is ultimately about being true to one’s self: whether you’re gay or straight, religious or non believer, you’ll find relevance in this triumphant autobiography.

  • A Life of Unlearning (3rd edition) paperback is available through all major online booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Alibri, Angus & Robertson, Fishpond, Booktopia etc. Or order from your local bookstore. ISBN-13: 978-0994152411 ISBN-10: 0994152418.
  • eBook on Amazon
  • Audio on (first edition)

Latest Review

I was privileged to hear Anthony Venn-Brown speak at the Leadership Training Academy in Melbourne recently and intrigued to read his book ‘A Life of Unlearning’.  I simply couldn’t put it down.

Anthony is a born storyteller and I was so moved by his recollections of growing up in Australia, and heartbroken at times when the conflicts of his faith and sexuality had such profound impacts on his life, and those close to him.  I felt like I was there with Anthony as he wrote of his life in the army, ministering around the country, his tough times and eventually finding peace.

Anthony writes of his beloved family with such love and respect and I thank goodness that for many, coming out is much more accepting these days as a result of the courage of Anthony and other LGBTIQA+ activists and allies.
– Belinda McPherson, People & Capability Advisor & LGBTIQ+ Champion, Southern Rural Water

A Life of Unlearning - Front Cover - Current


A Life of Unlearning - Front Cover 2007 SOLD OUT


A Life of Unlearning Front Cover 2004 SOLD OUT


Praise for ‘A Life of Unlearning’

“Human stories, like the one in these pages, play a part in advancing understanding and acceptance. It is the story of a quest to find not only self-acceptance but one of the most powerful forces in nature—human love…”
– The Hon. Michael Kirby

“A Life of Unlearning by Anthony Venn-Brown is the best autobiography on the intersection of faith and sexuality that I have ever read. It is honest, raw, and yet filled with hope; a perfectly written exploration into the nuance that fills life’s uncertainties. Venn-Brown has gifted us with something very special, and his life on these pages should not only be treasured, but read the world over. I could not recommend this book more!”
– Andrew Marin – Author of Love Is an Orientation

“A Life of Unlearning is an incredible book. The honesty and openness is amazing, and something I never have come across before. This is a very important book for the LGBT  people, but it is also a book with a universal message, of relevance to all of us, who want to live decent lives. Reading Anthony Venn-Brown’s  story has been a very valuable gift that  will continue to live inside me.”
– Johan Vilhelm Eltvik – Secretary General, World YMCA

“By providing powerful, personal and accessible insights into how an individual experiences the tensions, meshings and meeting points between religion, spirituality, sexuality and family, ‘A Life of Unlearning’ is essential reading for students and teachers of social sciences, religious studies, family studies, psychology and health studies at both upper secondary and tertiary levels.”
– Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli –  Author and Senior Lecturer in Social Diversity, Health and Education School of Health and Social Development Deakin University, Melbourne Australia

“Ultimately, as the theme that emerges is about being true to yourself, ‘A Life of Unlearning’ should be compulsory reading for every man, woman and child in Australia, whether gay or straight, young or old, religious or non-religious.”
– Gary Fishlock Editor of SX

“Anthony shares his life with us with all the colour that a story-telling evangelist can capture. The honesty of his story is compelling. His story faces the hard issues, HIV/AIDS, Suicide, Sexual Assault, Relationships, Marriage, Parenting, Domestic Violence, Loneliness, Guilt, Shame, Rejection, Love and Sex. He has nothing to hide and it is refreshing. I recommend A Life of Unlearning as a non-threatening way to understand and process the issues of sexuality and spirituality; however, I can’t say you may not experience discomfort as the honesty in these pages invites you to be honest in your own life. Read it if you dare.”
– Dr Wendell Rosevear – Psychologist O.A.M., M.B.,B.S., Dip. RACOG., FRACGP

“In A Life of Unlearning, hope is found through being honest and truthful – and learning what it means to live a life of integrity – rather than pretending to keep up an illusion of holy living, according to the demands and expectations of many church-going folk. I can hardly recommend this book too highly enough. It’s superb. If you allow the honesty of the author to challenge you, it will change your life – for the better.”
– Jeremy Marks – Courage UK

More endorsements, reviews and readers comments on the What They Say page

Anthony on Channel 7 ‘Sunrise’