As Programs Glorify Transgender Lifestyle, Denise Shick’s Life with a Transgender Father Was Anything But Entertainment

As Programs Glorify Transgender Lifestyle, Denise Shick’s Life with a Transgender Father Was Anything But Entertainment

Shick Will be a Featured Speaker at the Safe Exit Summit, Hosted by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays on October 2-3

For Immediate Release
September 23, 2015

Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak, 610.584.1096, ext. 100,


RICHMOND, Va.—The TV lineup is certainly filled with programming that both normalizes and glorifies the transgender lifestyle. But for Denise Shick, who grew up with a transgender father, life was anything but entertainment. It was more of a nightmare.

As a 9-year-old, Shick was hiding a secret—her father had told her that he wanted to become a woman. That revelation affected Denise for the rest of her life, and she is one of many with firsthand experience about how transgenderism hurts families.

Shick will be one of the featured speakers at the third annual Safe Exit Summit on Oct. 2-3 in Washington, D.C., co-hosted by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX,, the nation’s leading advocacy organization that offers love and support to families and friends of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion.

“Denise’s story is an amazing testament to how redeeming and saving grace can truly heal and restore,” said PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs. “We are looking forward to welcoming all of our passionate speakers to the Safe Exit Summit, where they will help other families with similar backgrounds and struggles, as well as motivate churches to become safe exits for those who have left the homosexual lifestyle or are envisioning a new and different life for themselves.”

Friday, Oct. 2 will feature a legislator education day on Capitol Hill for those who support ex-gays and individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction, as well as a time of praise and the viewing of the documentary “Such Were Some of You,” produced by Safe Exit Summit speaker Dr. David Kyle Foster. Then on Saturday, Oct. 3, numerous expert speakers will address several issues to encourage, educate and edify church leaders, family members and friends, as well as those struggling with gender confusion and unwanted same-sex attraction.

Today, Shick is an author and the founder of the ministry,, which gives support to those affected by a loved one’s gender confusion. Denise’s story is also featured on the PFOX web site. But before she found healing and restoration, Shick discovered that her father’s struggles would impact her directly.

Due to the lack of love she received from her father, Shick chased relationships as a way to fill that gap. By the seventh grade, Denise had been in relationships with 13 boyfriends.

“I was so empty inside and seeking the love and the attention of a father, and I couldn’t find that,” she said. “Right about that time, I thought, ‘Is life worth going on for? Is there possibly a better life if my life were to end, and I could end this pain?’”

Shick eventually met a trustworthy and loving man who became her husband; they married when she was 18. By the time Shick was 27, her father had left the family to live fully as a woman. Thirteen years went by before Shick’s father entered her life again, now diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before his death, she discovered the root of some of her father’s struggles. He was rejected by his father, he had been sexually abused, and his mother was an alcoholic. Townspeople called him “the little lost boy.”

“Although my father looked like a woman and lived as a woman,” Shick continued, “on his death bed, he had told my mother, ‘I thought this would give me the satisfaction that I sought after, but it didn’t.’ And that’s why it’s so important to treat the person for what’s going on in the heart. It’s an issue of the heart. We so often can get lost in everything happening on the outside when God wants us to focus on the person and what’s going on inside.”

Those traveling to the Washington, D.C., area for the Safe Exit Summit will be connected with the host hotel upon registration. The hotel—close to the conference site—is offering attendees a discounted rate, a free breakfast and other amenities. Registration for the two-day event is still open, and co-hosting with PFOX is Voice of the Voiceless and Equality And Justice For All.

Serving as the keynote speaker for the Safe Exit Summit will be Dr. Michael Brown, one of the most respected conservative voices in America and author of the new book, “Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Eight Principles for Long-term Cultural Change.”

Brown is widely considered to be the world’s foremost Messianic Jewish apologist. Since coming to faith in 1971 as a 16-year-old, heroin-shooting Jewish rock drummer, he has devoted his life to fostering awakening in the Church, sparking moral and cultural revolution in society, raising up gospel laborers for the nations and reaching out to his own Jewish people.

He is the host of the nationally syndicated “Line of Fire” radio broadcast, the president of FIRE School of Ministry, and a professor of Bible and Hebrew Studies at several leading seminaries. Brown has preached in more than 25 nations and is the author of 25 books and numerous scholarly and popular articles. He has debated Jewish rabbis, agnostic professors and gay activists on radio, TV and college campuses. Read more at or view his columns for The Christian Post.

Several other top-name speakers will also be featured at the Safe Exit Summit:

  • Charles LiMandri is President and Chief Counsel for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund and recently defended the New Jersey-based counseling group JONAH in court. He is double board certified in pre-trial litigation and trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He specializes in religious liberty issues.
  • Rev. Stephen Black has worked in pastoral-care ministry as an ordained minister and with International Ministerial Fellowship for over 25 years with First Stone Ministries. He teaches in the local church, serves in one-on-one pastoral care discipleship and weekly support group sessions, and helps to provide freedom conferences and seminars.
  • Dennis Jernigan, who will lead a special time of worship at the conference, is known primarily for his worship music, and his songs have been sung widely by the Body of Christ since the early 1990s. He has written hundreds of songs and authored many devotional and self-help books, fantasy novels and children’s stories. He shares his story of leaving a homosexual identity through his music and is convinced that with God, nothing is impossible.
  • Christopher Doyle is a licensed professional psychotherapist and co-founder of Voice of the Voiceless. He is also the Director of the International Healing Foundation, a non-profit organization that since 1990 has helped thousands of individuals and families struggling with sexual orientation. As a published author and expert in adolescent sexual health, as well as a former homosexual, Doyle has spoken to international audiences and had his work published in numerous outlets.
  • Melissa Ingraham is a licensed mental health counselor in New York who works with women on depression, anxiety, confusion, gender identity and unwanted same-sex attraction issues. She also previously identified as a lesbian and is the wife of ex-gay ministry leader Garry Ingraham. Ingraham’s story is featured on the PFOX web site.
  • Rich Wyler is the founder and director of People Can Change, a nonprofit, peer-led support and educational organization of men who seek to resolve, diminish or make peace with their unwanted same-sex attractions. He is also the founder and co-creator of the life-changing “Journey Into Manhood” experiential personal growth program and has compiled the book, “Then & Now: How My Sexual Attractions Have Changed.”
  • Dr. David Kyle Foster struggled with pornography and other sexually addictive behaviors before his salvation in 1980. He is the author of “Love Hunger: A Harrowing Journey from Sexual Addiction to True Fulfillment,” has served as an adjunct professor at several schools, has spoken on five continents, and has appeared on “The 700 Club,” “The Dr. Phil Show” and “The Coral Ridge Hour,” among others. Foster founded Mastering Life Ministries in 1987 and is also the producer and host of “Pure Passion,” a TV outreach to equip the church to minister to those who are trapped in sexual sin and brokenness.
  • David Pickup is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California with extensive background in talk therapy. He serves as president of the International Institute for Reorientation Therapies and is on the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). After being sexually abused at a young age, Pickup experienced same-sex attractions that lasted throughout much of his life. He later participated in authentic reparative therapy that he says helped saved his life.
  • Jayson Graves is a Christian psychotherapist specializing in sexual addictions recovery and unwanted attractions. His experience comes from working with youth, in community mental health and men’s ministry, and he has also worked with couples, individuals, young adults and teens in private practice. Graves is the founder and director of the international telephone counseling ministry, Healing for the Soul.
  • Ben Spratling was once exclusively attracted to other men. Raised Southern Baptist, he was confused by what he was taught in church about his feelings. But he pursued change for his attractions, a journey that took 11 years. Today, he’s committed to the Recently Straight project—a web-based TV show reenacting the stories of men who have changed from gay to straight.

For information on speakers, visit

According to Griggs, research, along with the personal experiences of ex-gays like those featured at the Safe Exit Summit, has shown that homosexuality is not innate and that change is possible. Visitors to can also listen to personal stories of ex-gays who share about their lives and their decision to change.

Griggs added that thousands of men and women with unwanted same sex attractions and gender confusion make the personal decision to leave their homosexual lifestyle and identity, and seek support and help from churches in their journey. Churches interested in finding out more about Safe Exit, a program that offers resources and expert speakers to help them open their doors to the ex-gay community and those struggling with same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion, can visit

PFOX is a national non-profit organization that supports families and educates the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX supports an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals by conducting public education and outreach to further individual self-determination and respect for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.

PFOX believes that every person seeking positive life change needs the love and support of family, friends, the community and the church, and strives to offer a place for help, a place for truth, and a place for ex-gays to participate in the conversation about same-sex attraction. PFOX families love their homosexual children unconditionally, believing that unconditional love between them and their child is based on treating each other with kindness and respect. Each year, men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to seek help in overcoming a homosexual identity through gender-affirming programs, including counseling, support groups, faith-based ministries and other non-judgmental environments.

For more information on PFOX, visit its web site at, its Facebook page, its Twitter feed @PFOX4U or email




Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization with a mission to support families and educate the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX is committed to supporting parents and friends of homosexuals who want help, hope and community, and exists to provide education and resources. PFOX works toward understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.


To interview a representative from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak at 610-584-1096, ext. 100, or at

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