<% IssueDate = "3/18/03" IssueCategory = "World" %> GayToday.com - World
Wayne Besen of the
Human Rights Campaign is Stepping Down

Compiled by GayToday

Washington, D.C.--Wayne Besen, a spokesperson for The Human Rights Campaign announced yesterday that he is leaving HRC today to promote his upcoming book, Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth and to pursue broadcasting opportunities in New York City.

"My five year journey at HRC has been tremendously rewarding and I will greatly miss serving the GLBT community with such hard working, dedicated activists," said Besen, who has served as HRC's Deputy Director of Communications. "It has been a privilege and an honor to learn and grow under the leadership of David M. Smith and Elizabeth Birch and I am thankful for the rare opportunity I had to fight for equality and to try make a difference in peoples' lives."

Besen's provocative book is scheduled to hit bookstores this summer and the contents can be previewed at www.Anythingbutstraight.com. The release of Anything But Straight will be accompanied by a 33 city national book tour. The cities included on this tour will be announced in the coming weeks.
Wayne Besen, will be leaving the Human Rights Campaign to promote his upcoming book, Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth

"The book tour should be incredibly exciting and it will help in the effort to further debunk the ex-gay myth," said Besen. "It is crucial that light is shed on these harmful programs so families can avoid the pain often caused by misguided ministries and repressive reparative therapists."

Besen made international news when he photographed "ex-gay" poster boy John Paulk in a Washington gay bar after Paulk was spotted by Besen's HRC colleague Daryl Herrschaft. Through Besen's extensive work on the "ex-gay" issue, he has emerged as one of the nation's premier experts on this controversial topic. Anything But Straight (Haworth Press) is his first book.

While serving at HRC, Besen was a frequent guest on leading news and political talk shows including: the NBC Nightly News, The Roseanne Show, CNN's Talk Back Live and The Point, Fox's O'Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes, Fox News and MSNBC News. He has also been quoted in a number of national publications such as The Washington Post, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, Rolling Stone and the Advocate magazine.

Wayne Besen's book Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth "I think this is the right move at the right time for me and I am incredibly optimistic about the future," said Besen. "While I will always cherish my HRC memories, I look forward to new challenges and opportunities waiting just over the horizon."

Besen graduated in 1993 from the University of Florida and founded Sons & Daughters of America (SDA), a gay and lesbian public awareness campaign based in South Florida. Following his tenure with SDA, Besen worked in television broadcasting at NBC and CBS affiliates in Fort Myers, Fla., and Bangor, Maine. In 1996, Besen served as the press secretary for democratic Maine State Senator Sean Faircloth's bid for the U.S. Senate.

Following the campaign, Besen moved to Washington and worked for Edelman Public Relations Worldwide where he specialized in media relations. In 1998 he was hired as Associate Director of Communications with HRC.
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Amazon.com: Anything but Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth