- August 14, 2014
Christian singer Vicky Beeching, whose popular contemporary music is featured in evangelical church worship services across the country, revealed this week that she is gay.
Beeching, an Oxford-educated theologian and blogger, addressed her sexuality publicly for the first time in an interview with the British-based newspaper The Independent.
“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love,” she said in the interview. “I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”
Beeching, 35, recently sparked controversy in the Christian blogosphere when she came out in support of LGBT equality, including same-sex marriage. Her pro-equality stance prompted a backlash from conservatives who called her a “disgrace” and suggested that she was no longer welcome in the evangelical Christian community.
"Often the Church behaves as though issues of LGBT equality are related to people 'out there' not those within Church walls,” says Beeching..
Growing up in a conservative Christian home in Britain where being LGBT would have been unacceptable, she kept silent about her growing awareness that she was attracted to people of the same sex. Beeching says her coming-out journey began when she was no longer able to stomach being forced to choose between who she is, whom she loves and her love for Christianity.
"The Church's teaching was the reason that I lived in so much shame and isolation and pain for all those years,” she recalls. “But rather than abandon it and say it's broken, I want to be part of the change.”
Beeching’s revelation has already initiated conversations among her fans in America's Bible Belt and beyond, which Michael Toumayan, the HRC Foundation’s religion and faith manager, characterized as promising - though perhaps initially painful for Beeching.
“To marginalize her for speaking the truth about her lived experience is antithetical to the core tenets of Christianity,” Toumayan said. “We commend and support Beeching and other LGBT people like her who are openly embracing and living their faith.”
HRC’s Religion and Faith Program continues to work toward a world in which no one feels forced to choose between who they are and what they believe, and we applaud Vicky’s bravery and welcome her to the growing community of openly-LGBT Christians. Thanks in part to our program’s work, more and more faith communities are taking leading roles in the conversation about LGBT equality. Learn more at www.hrc.org/religion.