#BornPerfect: Advisory Committee
About the Advisory Committee
The #BornPerfect Advisory Committee is a collection of top experts in their field who have joined the fight to end conversion therapy, including survivors, mental health professionals, faith leaders, youth advocates, and civil rights defenders. Their expertise informs every action the campaign takes, guides the direction of the advocacy, and sets the goals of legislation, litigation, administrative advocacy, and public education.
Advisory Committee Members
JAMES GUAY, Co-Chair
James Guay is a survivor of conversion therapy and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, providing LGBTQ Affirmative Psychotherapy for individuals and couples at his West Hollywood office. James testified in the California State Capital successfully advocating for them to ban the psychologically abusive practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth by licensed therapists. His passion is to prevent other LGBTQ people from having to endure the harms of religious homophobia and conversion therapy that he had to survive.
SAM BRINTON, Co-Chair
Sam Brinton is a survivor of conversion therapy and holds masters degrees in nuclear engineering and technology policy from MIT. He advises Congress on advanced nuclear reactor policy and nuclear waste management at Third Way and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He is also a passionate advocate in the fight to end conversion therapy across the country. Just as nuclear energy is sometimes misunderstood, so is the sexual minority community and as a proud kinky and gender-bending person, Sam seeks to bridge the gaps in understanding our culture is facing.
Bill Bettencourt, Senior Associate with the Center for the Study of Social Policy, leads CSSP’s get R.E.A.L. initiative, which works to improve healthy sexual and identity development for those involved in the child welfare system. He has over forty years of experience in social work including being the former Child Welfare Director in San Francisco County, leading child welfare reform efforts nationally as a senior consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and leading system improvement efforts in California for LGBTQ youth involved with the child welfare system.
DR. CAITLIN RYAN
Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW is a clinical social worker and researcher who has worked on LGBTQ health and mental health for 40 years and has done foundational research on family acceptance and rejection among LGBT youth, including conversion change efforts. She directs the Family Acceptance Project at SF State University – an initiative that uses a research-based intervention approach to help ethnically and religiously diverse families support their LGBTQ children in their families, cultures, and faith communities to prevent risk and promote well-being.
Deb Cuny is a survivor of conversion therapy and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. After years of rejection from the church because of her sexuality and gender expression, Deb’s own experience of spiritual abuse led her to seek healing for herself and others through activism and ministries aimed at ending the harm she experienced as a young person in the church. Deb also serves as a Hospital Chaplain Resident in San Francisco while she continues to discern a call to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.
REV. DEBRA W. HAFFNER
The Rev. Debra W. Haffner is the President and CEO of the Religious Institute, a national multi-faith organization that advocates for sexual health, education, and justice in America’s faith communities. A certified sexuality educator, she is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and also serves as the endorsed community minister at The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT. She formerly served as the President and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) and a Special Assistant in the U.S. Public Health Service.
DR. JUDITH GLASSGOLD
Dr. Judith Glassgold, PsyD is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience with LGBTQ affirmative therapy and advocacy. She was chair of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation and lead author of the Task Force landmark report concluding that sexual orientation conversion efforts were ineffective.
KIMBERLY INEZ MCGUIRE
Kimberly Inez McGuire is a reproductive justice leader and queer Latina with nearly a decade of experience in government relations, movement building, and strategic communications. As Director of Public Affairs for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Kimberly advocates for salud, dignidad, y justicia (health, dignity, and justice) for the nation’s more than 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities. Kimberly develops and implements intersectional policy change and culture shift campaigns focused on reproductive health equity.
Mathew Shurka is a survivor of conversion therapy and full-time advocate in the fight to end these dangerous and discredited practices. Born and raised in Great Neck, New York, he was 16 years old when he came out to his father about being gay. From that time until he was 21, he endured seeing four conversion therapists in four different states. Today, the 27-year-old is out and proud, a dedicated LGBTQ advocate, and a member of the #BornPerfect Advisory Committee.
Peter Drake is a survivor of conversion therapy, Executive Director of the COIL Foundation, and father of two adult gay children. To help educate about the harms of conversion therapy, Peter has appeared on the Dr. Oz show and testified in the California State Senate. He has served on many nonprofit boards and currently serves on the boards of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, the Grace Cathedral, and the Tyler Clementi Foundation. He graduated from Stanford University and Business School and previously owned a consulting firm for nonprofits.
Ryan Kendall is a survivor of conversion therapy who testified about his experiences in the Proposition 8 trial and in support of legislative bans in California, New York, and New Jersey. Ryan has worked as an advocate to eliminate conversion therapy, and his work has been featured in news stories, op-eds, scholarly articles, interviews, books, and theatrical performances. He is a graduate of Columbia University, and he is currently in his first year at UCLA School of Law.
PROF. SHAWN MARKUS CRINCOLI
Shawn Markus Crincoli is an Associate Professor of Law at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. He has published and lectured on a wide variety of subjects including: transgender health and the law; gender & disability in sport; regulation of the family; Jewish law; LGBTQ cultural competency; and more. He currently serves as Chair of the Legal Issues committee for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). In prior years, he has served on and chaired the Jewish Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools.