Wendy Gritter, Speaker
Wendy Gritter is an internationally recognized contributor to the conversations at the integration of faith and sexuality. She completed her M.Div. from Tyndale Seminary in 1999 and took the Executive Director role at New Direction Ministries in Canada in 2002. During her tenure, Wendy has initiated significant change at New Direction. She led the transition from an ex-gay paradigm to the embodiment of a posture of generous spaciousness. In its current role, New Direction seeks to serve as bridge-builders and peace-makers in the polarized discussions regarding committed same-sex unions. New Direction works to help the church acknowledge the reality of diversity and to adopt postures of respect, humility, and generosity so that LGBT people can encounter safe and spacious places to explore and grow in faith in Jesus Christ. Wendy is currently working on her doctorate with a focus on leading congregations through disputable matters to find unity in diversity. She is awaiting the publication of her first book.
Chely Wright, Speaker
Chely Wright was the first chart-topping country music singer to come out as a lesbian in May of 2010 on Good Morning America. A feature documentary film, “Wish Me Away,” was recently released. Over a three-year period, award-winning filmmakers Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf followed Chely’s struggle to come out to her family, her fans, and the country music world. Since coming out she's released a new album and memoir, appeared on the Oprah & Ellen shows, started her Like Me foundation, was nominated for a GLAAD media award, performs at pride festivals, and is very active with gay rights organizations. She writes and speaks about her journey of growing up in Kansas, always loving God, always supporting the troops, having good middle America/country values, and always knowing that she was gay. When she came out she intentionally did it in a way that wasn't just a blip on the national news feed, but she committed to telling her story in a way that could affect change in her particularly conservative area of influence.
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