Vicky Beeching: Out and Proud
Vicky Beeching has stolen the spotlight this week by making the brave decision to come out as a lesbian. A few days ago, the theologian, religious commentator, broadcaster and musician became an inspiration for two groups of people who have, historically at least, been on conflicting sides of the equality argument – religious people, and LGBTs. Vicky Beeching unites these demographics and, I have to say, she does it with absolute grace.
For the LGBT community, she reaffirms the possibility of being both religious and queer. Now, I’m not a person of faith myself, but I do strongly believe that we should all be free to choose our own belief systems, and that our sexual and gender identities should place no restrictions on that. I also believe that religious folk are crucial allies in our fight for liberation, and that religion does not have to equate to intolerance or bigotry.
Vicky Beeching brings this point to the table, and people are loving it. Some have even come forward stating that they are open to re-examining their lifelong beliefs about homosexuality, others have been inspired themselves to open up about their own sexuality. Take a moment to think about what an amazing accomplishment that really is for Vicky, and for the rest of the LGBT community.
What’s even more amazing, though, is her planning. A few people I know came out in an argument, or by accident, or (sadly) were outed by ‘friends’ or family. We all have our stories and personal reasons for making the decision to come out in a certain way, and at a certain time. Vicky Beeching chose exactly one month after the Church of England voted in favour of allowing women Bishops. This was obviously a fantastic decision for the Church, but no one should have been fooled into thinking that the race was over. Beeching has brought the LGBT equality debate to the front of the table now. It is one of the final remaining hurdles for the church, and Beeching is making people think, and re-evaluate their stance.
Congratulations, Vicky, on making such a brave choice, and for having an amazing impact on the lives of so many religious folk, LGBT folk, and those who are both.