About

Dr. Joshua Moon Johnson is an educator, speaker, trainer, and consultant on topics ranging from diversity and social justice to higher education and professional development. Much of Dr. Joshua Moon Johnson’s work stems from his personal identity as a Christian, queer, multiracial Asian-American/Euro-American, man who grew up in Mississippi. His understanding of identity has led to a career training, consulting, writing and presenting at colleges and organizations around the country. He is currently the Dean of Student Affairs at the American University of Malta (in southern Europe). He previously served as the Assistant Dean/Director of the Multicultural Student Center at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Joshua is a leader in higher education administration, social justice education, and regularly writes, speaks, and consults on issues related to diversity in higher education. Prior to UW-Madison Joshua served as the Director of the Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity/Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Services and the Non-traditional Student Resource Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Joshua began to pay attention to identity as he was being home-schooled by his Pentecostal minister parents, and he began to realize there were conflicts with his religious, spiritual, sexual, and gender identity; moreover, this long-lasting struggle affected all aspects of his life. Joshua’s understanding of identity and conflict has led him to a career educating on topics of social justice and has led to becoming a best-selling author with his first book, Beyond Surviving: From Religious Oppression to Queer Activism.

Joshua was trained from an early age to believe that the Bible was the guide for his life and the direction stated in it should not be questioned. Joshua was socialized from an early age that romantic same-sex relationships were sinful abominations and socially unacceptable. From birth, Christian ideology was a part of Joshua’s life, and he spent much of his life focused on “fixing” his same-sex attraction. As Joshua was trying to make sense of his own challenges with his race, religion, sexuality, and gender he began to notice that many others shared his struggles, which is when he refocused his life’s purpose.

Joshua has numerous publications on topics such as multiracial student support, queer Asian Pacific Islanders, as well as marginalized leaders in higher education. He has published two books; his first book, Beyond Surviving was a #1 Best-seller on Amazon.com for Gay & Lesbian Activism. Joshua’s second book is a co-edited volume about LGBTQ leaders in higher education, Authentic Leadership. Joshua’s newest book is Queer People of Color in Higher Education; it comes out fall of 2017. Joshua served as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) chair for the MultiRacial Knowledge Community and served as the Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community Representative for Southern California. Joshua previously also on the Board of Directors of Just Communities: Social Justice in the Central Coast.

Joshua is an alumnus of the Social Justice Training Institute and served as a core group facilitator at the Student Social Justice Training Institute. Joshua served as the diversity and cultural specialist for the Semester at Sea during the 2014 Spring voyage where he also was a faculty member for Intercultural Communications. Joshua has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally on topics such as media and marginality, queer people of color, multiracial student identity, intersections of religion and sexuality, and facilitating dialogues on diversity.

Joshua was an instructor of Popular Culture and Identity and Communications at Brooks Institute of Art in Santa Barbara, California. He previously hosted a weekly public affairs radio talk show on 91.9 FM, KCSB Santa Barbara called Check Ya’Self, which critically examined media and popular culture through a social justice lens.

Joshua received a doctorate in higher education and a certificate in LGBT studies from Northern Illinois University, and a master’s degree in social sciences, student affairs, and diversity from Binghamton University, State University of New York. Joshua also has a master’s degree in marketing from The University of Alabama as well as a bachelor’s in business from the University of South Alabama.

To hear a podcast about more of Joshua’s life growing up, challenges and successes as a college student in Alabama, and his current goals visit Real Gauchos.

Book Reviews

For people raised in Christian or other religious traditions who find themselves distancing themselves from this identity as they begin coming out and cultivating intimate relationships, this book provides unique testaments to the struggle and triumph of LGBTQ Christians on our campuses. Beyond Surviving provides hope that we as an LGBTQ community can heal and embrace religion and spirituality as an important aspect of holistic well-being.
Raja Bhattar, Director, LGBT Campus Resource Center, UCLA
This book is filled with stories of healing and reconciliation.  As I reflect on my own journey, it is good to see that everyday we are becoming increasingly aware of the need to heal and reconcile our sexuality and faith at a very young age. May we all embrace continual healing as we read this incredible work.
Rev. Samuel R. Offer, Unity Fellowship Church, Baltimore Vice President, Washington Consulting Group
Johnson’s unique approach to examining the areas of Christianity and same-sex relationships fills an important gap, these two areas rarely converge in research.  He broadens the discussion by bringing together discourse on queer identity, mental health, spirituality, physical and emotional abuse.  The narratives alone constitute a powerful testimony of survival and dynamism in our social system.  Beyond Surviving is beautifully written.
Emily Prieto, Ph.D., Director, Latino Resource Center, Northern Illinois University
Johnson’s new book portrays the struggles of students in same-sex relationships in a powerful and moving way through personal stories–exploring students’ internal and external conflicts, vulnerability, pain, self-realization, hope, and, yes, triumph. Educators will better understand the multiple dynamics at play in the conflict between religious and sexual identity as well as the resources necessary to support students. Everyone who reads Beyond Surviving will be inspired to push for their communities to be more welcoming and inclusive for all.
Michael D. Young, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, University of California, Santa Barbara