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Mathew Shurka is a conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder of Born Perfect, part of a global movement to end conversion therapy. Mathew leads the program 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, 20 states and more than 100 municipalities 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.


National Center for Lesbian Rights

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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. 


National Center for Lesbian Rights

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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.


National Center for Lesbian Rights

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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.   


National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Michael Airhart is a news editor, data scientist, and longtime vocal critic of conversion therapy. As a journalist, Michael worked as senior editor in the Washington, D.C., offices of the Knight Ridder, McClatchy, and Tribune 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 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. He believes that all people are born perfect.


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Adam Trimmer is both a survivor of conversion therapy and a statewide advocate against the practice. In 2008, following a suicide attempt during his coming out process at the age of 18, Adam was subjected to eight months of conversion therapy in the forms of pastoral care, licensed therapy, individual and group therapy at a Richmond-based ministry, and a series of ex-gay conferences. These experiences were devastating and required years of recovery. Today, Adam is the Virginia Ambassador for Born Perfect, working directly with lawmakers and local advocates to support protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. He has shared his experiences with the Virginia Boards of Counseling, Social Work, Medicine, and Psychology, which are adopting regulations against conversion therapy. Adam helped lead efforts in Richmond, Virginia, supporting the mayor’s resolution for the city to support ending the practice. That resolution passed the city council with unanimous support.

Adam’s mother has also spoken alongside him at some of these board meetings, and they were both featured on a GLAAD Award-winning story titled “Conversion Therapy: God Only Knows” on CBS Sunday Morning in November of 2018. Adam currently lives in central Virginia near the city of Richmond.


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.