MEET THE STAFF

MATHEW SHURKA

CO-FOUNDER
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Mathew Shurka is a conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder of Born Perfect, a campaign that has become a global movement to end conversion therapy. Mathew leads the campaign alongside a team of lawyers and other conversion therapy survivors committed to protect LGBTQ+ people through legislation, litigation, and public education. 

During his five years of conversion therapy from ages 16-21, Mathew endured many different types of fraudulent and scientifically discredited “treatments” that he was told would “cure” his homosexuality. Most traumatizing, he was instructed to stay away from his mother and two sisters for three years based on the false belief that being gay is caused by a man being too close to his mother or other female relatives.

Mathew sought out treatment for the trauma he endured and reconciled with his family. At 24 he began advocating to end conversion therapy with The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and worked with NCLR to create Born Perfect in 2014. 

By elevating the voices of survivors and their families, educating policymakers, and partnering with supportive therapists, and professional organizations, 18 states and more than 50 cities have passed laws to protect LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy. 

Mathew’s influence and personal advocacy has been vital for passing legislation and bringing awareness to mainstream media to further educate and help create inclusion for all people.

SHANNON MINTER

National Center for Lesbian Rights

LEGAL DIRECTOR
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Shannon Price Minter is one of the most experienced and successful litigators and advocates in the LGBTQ movement.  He has been working to end conversion therapy since 1993, when he launched the nation’s first legal advocacy program for survivors. Shannon partnered with mental health professionals to draft the first law protecting youth from conversion therapy in California in 2012, which has now been replicated in 17 other states and DC.  Shannon grew up in a conservative family in rural Texas and seeks to build bridges with conservative religious communities.  He believes that all families have a stake in supporting the health and well-being of LGBTQ youth and protecting them from the devastation caused by conversion therapy. 

AMY WHELAN

National Center for Lesbian Rights

SENIOR LITIGATION COUNSEL
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Amy Whelan is an experienced civil rights attorney with a passionate commitment to ending conversion therapy. In 2018, Amy represented conversion therapy survivor Kate McCobb in one of the nation’s first lawsuits challenging a conversion therapist under a state law prohibiting consumer fraud. Before joining Born Perfect, Amy was an associate at the San Francisco firm of Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld LLP (RBGG), where she was part of the trial team in Coleman/Plata v. Schwarzenegger, a successful lawsuit challenging the California prison system’s unconstitutional provision of medical and mental healthcare.  In addition to representing conversion therapy survivors, Amy provides legal assistance and advice to federal, state, and local legislators drafting laws to end this harmful practice. Amy received her B.A. from Princeton University and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

CHRISTOPHER STOLL

National Center for Lesbian Rights

SENIOR LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL
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Christopher F. Stoll is one of the superstar litigators of the LGBTQ rights movement and has devoted decades of his career to ending conversion therapy.  Formerly a partner with the law firm Heller Ehrman LLP, Chris obtained a J.D. from Harvard Law School and clerked for Judge Browning on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Chris’s legislative expertise has played a critical role in drafting and passing state laws to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.  He has also developed the constitutional arguments that have been successfully used to defend those laws against attacks by anti-LGBTQ legal groups.  Chris grew up in Indiana and understands the many obstacles that face LGBTQ youth in conservative states.  He is committed to building a word in which every child knows they are born perfect.   

HOW WE WORK

Born Perfect’s legal experts support state-wide LGBTQ organizations to pass legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.

We amplify the voices of conversion therapy survivors and their families.

We are nonpartisan and seek to build bridges between all communities.