On August 14th 2014, in an interview that featured on the front page of The Independent and The i newspapers, Vicky came out as gay. Due to her level of global influence within the conservative wing of the church, and within mainstream British media, this caused shockwaves.
She had previously lived and worked in the American Bible Belt for much of her twenties. This part of the world reacted with vitriol to her news and a boycott of her music in their churches. In the UK the reaction from Christians was mixed - some showered her with abuse, while others found it changed their minds on the issue and voiced their support for LGBT equality.
Her coming out was covered by international press. Online, her news went viral with over 60 million social media impressions and a live, prime-time TV interview that's surpassed 200 thousand views on Youtube.
Since coming out she has been named as "arguably the most influential Christian in her generation" by The Guardian newspaper. The Telegraph named her in their 'Top 100 British People of 2014'. She was highlighted by American organisations like The HRC and GLAAD, and written about in Time Magazine online, The Advocate and The Daily Beast. Vicky was listed as the 3rd most influential LGBT person in the UK in the highly respected, annual 'Rainbow List' published by the Independent newspaper.
Vicky has also been nominated for a National Diversity Award and shortlisted for Stonewall's Hero of The Year Award 2014. In September she was invited to the United Nations in New York to attend the launch of their new LGBT campaign 'Free and Equal' with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Her vision is to help change the Church from the inside out until it affirms and blesses LGBT sexuality and equal marriage.
A round-up of some of the international media pieces covering her coming out are below.
If you only want to read a small handful, the following three are the best summary:
- Vicky's original coming out interview, The Independent
- First television interview, debating Scott Lively, on UK's prime-time Channel 4 News show
Other media around Vicky's coming out:
- The Guardian Video - short film as featured on their website's homepage (screenshot)
- American human rights organisation, The HRC.
- The Telegraph's Top 100 Britons of 2014
- The Independent's annual prestigious 'Rainbow List' of LGBT influencers (Vicky at No.3)
- Time Magazine - Online opinion piece
- The Telegraph
- The Daily Beast 1: Longreads recommendation
- The New Statesman
- BBC Radio interview package (used by 40 local BBC stations on Sun Aug 17th 2014)
- The Independent (follow up piece)
- The Daily Mail
- Pink News (1)
- Pink News (2)
- Christian Today (1)
- Christian Today (2)
- Christian Today (3)
- Patheos (2)
Westboro Baptist picket Vicky's first keynote speech in the USA about her faith & sexuality:
Her keynote: http://new.livestream.com/GCNconf/2015-vicky-beeching-session-3
Huffington Post cover the picket: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/12/vicky-beeching-wesboro-baptist-church_n_6457408.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000055
Pink News coverage: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/01/11/us-god-hates-fags-church-targets-gay-christian-singer-but-her-response-is-amazing/
Diva Magazine: http://www.divamag.co.uk/category/news/vicky-beeching-responds-with-love-to-gay-hate-church.aspx
Christian Today: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/westboro.baptist.targets.vicky.beeching.in.anti.gay.protest/45772.htm
Premier Christianity: http://www.premier.org.uk/News/World/Vicky-Beeching-targeted-by-Westboro
Edge Media Network Boston: http://www.edgeboston.com/news/news/170310/lesbian_christian_rock_singer_shows_love_to_westboro_jerks
Very impassioned talk on radio 2 today. Well done. As an evangelical Christian, I think you’ve won the emotional argument but you never mentioned theology. I know it was a short interview but you’ve got to start talking about the bible as that is where people argue against light issues.
It’s very helpful to me to know another Christian has passed through what I went through after I realized I was also gay. Am looking for a soul mate and believe I will meet her
Watching you on BBC Hardtalk show was awesome, stay true, much love ????
I would like to understand more about your thoughts on what Scripture teaches on the issue of homosexuality. To me, Scripture is very clear – in both the Old and New Testaments – on this issue. I feel for you in terms of your difficult experiences but I am left wondering how you can reconcile homosexuality with what is ultimately Gods revealed will as we have it in the Bible. I have just watched your conversation with Stephen Sackur on Hard Talk and would have loved to hear you speaking about Christs work in your soul? That ultimately is what defines whether or not we are Christians – if we have the Spirit of Christ within us and can speak of His death on the cross as it applies to us as individuals. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from ALL sin. That is what we have to look to – no other form of justification.
Just chanced across your interview on LBC and it was so refreshing to hear you. I’m straight but I was raised in a Baptist home in Australia and I know the landscape of the evangelical church intimately. Ultimately I left the church for other reasons but my late sister struggled with her sexuality and when she came out my mother ‘the matriarch’ banned her from the house and tried to ban us from having anything to do with her. I guess because I was such a rebellious little shit and the oldest child, I drove on down to see her and discovered that she’d contemplated suicide. I went home and blasted my mother for her un-Christian attitude. She screamed back and we really were screaming, she stormed off to cry and tried to use emotional blackmail but I wasn’t backing down. A few days later she backed down because I sure as hell wasn’t budging and my sister was allowed to come back for dinner. It was the start of a journey for me as well as my sister. I’m familiar with the gay conversion cult, the casting out of demons nonsense and everything else in between. Shortly before I left Australia and returned to Scotland my sister vacillated between being gay and being Christian. She had this habit of running everything past me because even though I was now an atheist she still needed approval. I kept saying yes you can be gay and yes you can be Christian and eventually she said can I be both and I said of course. I’m sure God is big enough to accept that.
She’s been gone for some years now, a victim of cancer but I’ve never regretted the stand I took for her, it divided the family for a while but I learned a lot about the LGBTQ world, back in the 80s it was just homosexuality. These days I write lesbian erotica under a female pen name, which is kind of a tribute to my sister. I wish you all the best for the book and your music. I probably won’t buy the music because it’s not for me but I’ll certainly recommend you to anyone who is having similar struggles.
hi i attended an evanigical church for several years and about 10 years God opened my eyes and heart to how bgtl christians have and are being treated revealing people like lonnie frisbie to me i am so heartened by your work and stance vicky and delighted to call u my sister in Christ God accepts and loves us fully as we are for who we are and i am overjoyed that u have spoken out thank u blessings will
Hi Vicky – I’m late in reading your memoir but no less moved by it. I too grew up in the evangelical movement in the U.S. in the early 70’s but left at age 13 after I was threatened with ‘corrective rape,’ by a minister who would ‘make me normal.’ I’ve only recently gone back to a Methodist Church (40 plus years later!) that is affirming to LGBTQ+ community. Your work as an activist and leader is so important. I’ve read the responses to your memoir by the evangelical Christian Right and I am saddened and appalled and also triggered by their responses because I heard the exact same messages of hate and bile when I was young. Know that there are so many of us who have been hurt by these people who mean well, but who are ultimately guided not by God, but by their own ignorance and need to prove their power over others. The tide will change. And know your voice is bolstering many LGBTQ+ people to reclaim their rightful place at Christ’s table. I pray for your strength and for your well being. God bless.
I just recently found your book and when I began reading I was struck by just how familiar your story is – your background, your faith, questions and struggles. I have not yet finished reading, but I just wanted to share this. For years I struggled with similar questions. I have not been able to “come out” to everyone, but I am working on it. I have not yet been able to return to church, because of the healing I still need to do. But God is very real to me. And He hasn’t asked me to choose.
Hi Vicky. I just read your story and my heart is leaping. I have felt that I needed to choose God or my son. He has led a tortured life full of self loathing, depression and anxiety as a young gay man who grew up in an evangelical church. I only learned about his sexuality when he was 20. My heart aches with regret and guilt that I never knew how to help him. The emotional scars remain with him still. I have withdrawn myself from church and have struggled with severe anguish over the struggle. Only recently am I realizing that I have been programmed by a lifetime of evangelical preaching that never truly set well with my heart. Your music will once again allow me to freely sing and worship without conflict in my heart. Thank you for your bravery. You are truly a gift from God.
God is love. Full stop. Standing alongside you and all others who have suffered.
I am reading your book, 3/4ths through and ache fir your story and am so blessed. I’m a single mom of 4, one is transgender and thought she had to be an atheist. I have shared with her…..its not OR. Its AND. God is love and that includes you. Blessings. Prayers for you. I hope you are happy and well.
Things are getting better because of you and others, like Brandi Carlile and Robin Roberts. I used to think my church was very conservative. Indeed there are the persons trapped in cultural stereotypes there. But about four years ago, my daughter Misty was visiting church with my son’s wife Kayla. Several church members come up to greet her and asked if Kayla was her wife. My wife Bobbi had nonchalantly introduced them saying, “This is our daughter, Misty and our daughter-in-law Kayla.” The smiles and warm, enthusiastic embraces told us of the genuine love and acceptance my daughter could receive in an open-minded, loving church family. Thank you for your work to open the hearts and minds of so many to God’s ever faithful, everlasting love.
So sorry to see that you have become another tragic chooser of those who wish to reject the Holy and clear teachings of Scripture, aligning yourself with the falling away spoken of in Scripture. To him that knows to do good (what God declares as right), and doesn’t do it, to them it is sin. We are not in a democracy with God as our “president”; He is the Lord of Hosts: He alone gets the ultimate right to define what is and is not acceptable.
I urge you to consider the fact that you have strayed far from His Holy teachings, or that perhaps you have never actually had a genuine relationship with Him at all. Either way, repentance is the answer, and I beg you to consider the fact that God DOES indeed love you, but His love is never an excuse for sin.