The successful Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) singer’s experience coming out as a lesbian last August only strengthened that desire. She is now ready to be a role model and lend her platform as a voice for LGBT Christians struggling to make sense of the church’s message of “Come as you are–unless you’re gay.”
After coming out in support of marriage equality at the end of 2013, British-born Beeching opened up to her fans in August 2014 to share that she herself is a lesbian. The news stunned fans and churches around the world, as they found themselves questioning the theology and validity of her music. Many have boycotted her music, perhaps fearing that they would be polluted by continuing to listen to it.
Not content with the normal “vacuous” quality of contemporary Christian music, Beeching has always infused her music with academic understanding about the character of God, gained from degrees in theology, religion, and ethics at Oxford. She knows the Bible, she knows theology, she knows a lot about God. The quality and depth of her lyrics has been affirmed in part by the popularity of her music, especially in North American Evangelical mega churches. At the time of her announcement, her music stood regularly among the 25 songs most copyrighted through Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) for Sunday morning use.
Notwithstanding her years of academic study indicating the level of her dedication of pursuing a meaningful understanding of God, and the strong body of music she has penned to worship God, Vicky Beeching’s brand has now suffered from her transparency. Her main income had been royalties from the churches using her music, as well as some radio royalties; now she is feeling the loss of that income more strongly than she expected in the wake of churches and radio stations removing her music from their playlists. Despite having anticipated the backlash, the theologian-turned-singer-turned-commentator still found herself unsettled by the depth of accusations leveled at her.
Yet rather than abandoning the church that has judged her so harshly and leaving her faith behind, Vicky Beeching prefers to consider herself part of the church and work within it to effect change. The months since her announcement have brought Beeching to a quieter place. Although she prefers the “guitar and drums” feel of big Evangelical churches, she has found greater shared theology and acceptance in the “most traditional, high church places” due to their more liberal outlook. She is now working in London, as a church news correspondent for the BBC and other news organizations. In addition to religion and equal marriage, other areas of interest about which she gets to speak include ethics and feminism.
It’s taken all my courage, and all these years, for me to finally do this interview: http://t.co/BKEkAuCEWS
— Vicky Beeching (@vickybeeching) August 13, 2014
As members of the LGBT community increasingly explore the possibility that God loves them, too, the church will continue to experience growing numbers of gay Christians. And Vicky Beeching plans to be there, as a role model and friend, helping bridge the gap and help more people find comfort through faith.