National Center for Lesbian Rights

Michael Airhart

Michael Airhart he / him / his

Born Perfect Program Associate

Michael Airhart is a news editor, data scientist, and longtime vocal critic of conversion therapy. As a journalist, Michael worked in the Washington, D.C., offices of the Knight Ridder, McClatchy, and Tribune joint-venture newswires from 1993 until 2014, over time transitioning into data-science roles performing text analytics, content classification and syndication, data modeling, and research.

In 2002, Michael launched Ex-Gay Watch, a pioneering and popular multiple-author blog devoted to news and analysis of the conversion-therapy movement and its religious affiliations. From 2007 to 2011, Michael performed research, writing, and community liaison work with Truth Wins Out, an organization that fights both conversion therapy myths and anti-LGBTQ religious extremism. Since 2013, Michael has supported survivors of conversion therapy, encouraged them to find their own voices, and assisted former leaders of “ex-gay” religious groups in publicly repudiating their past, mistaken view that conversion therapy methodologies can “cure” or “change” people.

Michael grew up in a Roman Catholic family that straddled traditional, alternative, charismatic, agnostic, and evangelical traditions. His affinity for Judaism and Islam, and for human rights, led him to co-organize the annual Pride Interfaith Service in D.C.; to serve LGBTQ asylum seekers through the D.C. Center for the LGBTQ Community; and to join pilgrimages to Colombia, El Salvador, and Morocco. He has a passion for collaborating with LGBTQ people from different religious backgrounds, and their families and potential allies, around the globe.

As Born Perfect program associate, Michael implements advocacy strategies for our litigation, legislation, media coverage, and social science research; he also expands upon our relationships with survivors and collaborating organizations.

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