A storyteller and community healer at heart, I love to gather the spiritual nomads, the wanderers, the doubters, the seekers, and especially those who have been pushed to the margins of society and/or faith and bring them into a place that feels like home. I’m a national speaker, coach, and advocate supporting LGBTQ+ people as they navigate their coming out process, and educating others on the importance of full inclusion.
I’m the author of three books, including Unashamed (the first coming-out guide for LGBTQ people of faith). My newest book Out of Focus: My Story of Sexuality, Shame, and Toxic Evangelicalism releases October 2023. I'm the creator and host of the Unashamed Love Collective~a beautifully diverse and inclusive online community for LGBTQ+ people and allies. I also curate and lead Cultivating Community retreats, gathering small groups of people in safe spaces of belonging and empowering them to love who they are and create lasting relationships with one another.
My experience of loss and love has propelled me into a world of advocating for social justice and has made me passionate about dissolving shame, fostering self-acceptance, and generating messages of hope, love, and inclusion so that everyone can live and thrive in the world without shame.
Out of Focus Prologue Video
When a mass shooter killed five people in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, grieving people graffitied James Dobson’s Focus on the Family headquarters with the words “Their blood is on your hands.” Such an accusation comes as no surprise to Amber Cantorna-Wylde, whose father is a Focus on the Family executive and cast Amber out of her family when she came out in 2012. From severed family ties to malicious murder, such enmity is the fruit of a religious movement that considers it more faithful to reject your child or even to kill than to accept and love LGBTQ+ people. Evangelical organizations like Dobson’s, along with pastors like Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, and Robert Jeffress, built an empire out of their conservative Christian beliefs and convinced millions of Americans that sexual purity, patriarchal families, and militaristic nationalism were God’s priority. Cantorna-Wylde shows readers how the political and personal intertwine to cause shame and suffering that Jesus would never desire, including the long-term effects of identity-repression, trauma, and family estrangement. A blend of heart-wrenching memoir and astute cultural analysis, Out of Focus will help heal individuals harmed by evangelicalism’s toxic influence and inspire Christian communities to pursue a path of love and inclusion.