Past conferences have included names such as Philip Yancey, Rachel Held Evans, Vicky Beeching, Jeff Chu, Peter Gomes, Tony Campolo, and more. This year, GCN is proud to welcome our Houston conference speakers.
Rev. Allyson Dylan Robinson is believed to be the first openly transgender person ever to be ordained by a Baptist church—a distinction that led MSNBC to speculate she might be “the most radical preacher in America.” She recently served as transitional pastor of Washington, D.C.’s Calvary Baptist Church, a congregation that has served the nation’s capital for over 150 years.
Allyson is the founder and principal of Warrior Poet Strategies, a D.C. based consulting firm advising clients in organizational design, diversity and inclusion, and social and civic entrepreneurship. Previously, she led diversity initiatives at the Human Rights Campaign and was the first transgender person to lead a national LGBT organization as executive director of OutServe-SLDN. She's also served as an Army officer, led Baptist congregations on two continents, studied at West Point, Arizona State, and Oxford University, and earned degrees in physics and theology.
A 2015 graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, the Rev. Broderick Greer is Curate at Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church. At Grace-St. Luke's, Broderick coordinates ministry to people in their 20s and 30s, preaches and leads worship, oversees the parochial school chapel, and directs City of Soul, a new Episcopal Service Corps (young adult service year) program. He offers lectures and facilitates conversations at the intersection of social media, American history, queer theory, black theology, human rights, and racial justice. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Religion News Service, and The Huffington Post.
Misty Irons is a blogger and wife of a former pastor. She has been writing about the relationship between the conservative church and LGBT community for the past fifteen years. She has a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Westminster Theological Seminary, California.
In 2002, Misty’s essay, “A Conservative Christian Case for Civil Same-Sex Marriage,” sparked widespread controversy within her very conservative denomination. After a year and a half of debate, discussion, and judicial proceedings within the ecclesiastical court, Misty and her husband, Rev. Lee Irons, were forced to leave the denomination and disband the church they had been planting for ten years.
Misty continues to blog at moremusingson.blogspot.com. She has taught an adult Sunday school series on reaching out to the gay community, been interviewed on GCN Radio, was a keynote speaker at the 2012 GCN Conference, and is always making new friends who further enlighten her on her journey. Misty, her husband, and their three children live in Northridge, California.
Justin Lee is the founder and executive of The Gay Christian Network, an interdenominational nonprofit organization engaging Christians from differing theological perspectives to work together for a more loving, grace-filled church for all.
Justin grew up as a conservative Southern Baptist, preaching against LGBT acceptance until questions about his own sexuality forced him to reconsider everything he thought he knew. Today, he works to help people on both sides understand and show grace to one another.
Justin is the author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate, which has been widely cited for its role in shaping modern Christian attitudes toward LGBT people. He speaks frequently across the country and has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Dr. Phil, Anderson Cooper 360, NPR’s All Things Considered, and a front page story in The New York Times. He writes about issues of faith and culture on his own blog, Crumbs from the Communion Table, JustinLee.co.
Emmy R. Kegler is a queer woman who was raised in the Episcopal Church and spent time in evangelical and non-denominational traditions before finding her home in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She has a Master’s in Divinity from Luther Seminary and is currently awaiting call in the ELCA. She works as a self-employed web designer and church curricula writer, and is also the founder and curator of Queer Grace, a growing web encyclopedia of content around LGBTQ life and faith. She lives in Minneapolis and enjoys biking, board games, books, beer, and babysitting her girlfriend’s dogs.
Tash Holmes, from Sydney, Australia, began her journey in Christian music as a singer and worship leader at Hillsong Church, working with artists such as Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan. A gifted singer, songwriter and musician, Tash is a passionate and dynamic worship leader.
Following her coming out experience, Tash has spent the last 10 years developing LGBTI worship resources. She has had the privilege of working alongside organizations such as Metropolitan Community Churches, The Uniting Church, Amplify Asia, Sanctuary, and The Gay Christian Network.
Based now at Paddington Uniting Church, Tash creatively directs Eastside Arts, an organization showcasing emerging local and celebrated national artists.