Vicky Beeching: 'I've been overwhelmed by support from friends and fans'

Christian rock star came out in an exclusive interview with The Independent

Vicky Beeching said she has been overwhelmed by the support from friends, strangers and fellow Christians following her decision to reveal her sexuality in public for the first time.

The theologian and singer-songwriter came out in today’s Independent during an interview in which she discussed candidly the emotional and physical trauma she faced as a teenager trying to reconcile her homosexuality with her religious beliefs. Tweeting a link to the article she said: “It’s taken all my courage, and all these years, for me to finally do this interview.”

The reaction on social media was almost entirely positive with “brave”, “courageous” and “inspirational” the most common responses on Twitter. Many fellow Christians said they hoped Beeching’s interview would persuade the Church of England to change its attitude towards gay people - the House of Bishops does not allow clergy to perform same sex weddings and banned same sex marriages between clergy earlier this year.

“I was terrified about the reaction,” she said today. “I was literally holding my breath in the moments before the interview was published online, but given how much of a broader audience it has reached with it being on the front pages as well the reaction has been wonderful.”

Beeching admitted she had been sent “a wave of nasty stuff” via her Facebook fan page inbox but she was ignoring the comments. She said: “For some reason, those people don’t want that kind of comment seen publicly so they have been sending the messages where only I can read them. I’m focusing on the overwhelmingly positive reactions though.”

The 35-year-old studied theology at Oxford before signing with EMI as a singer, and moving to Nashville, Tennessee in her early 20s. She spent six years living and touring in conservative US heartlands before returning home after extreme stress over issues surrounding her sexuality brought on a serious health scare. She spent the next 18 months receiving chemotherapy and resolved to come out by the time she was 35.

Beeching also admitted during her interview that only a handful of people knew her sexuality and had only recently told close friends, including Katharine Welby-Roberts, the daughter of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The singer had also described one incident where an attempt to “exorcise” her same-sex attraction was made in front of a conference centre of 4,000 people at a bible camp in the UK.

Welby-Roberts tweeted her support for Beeching calling her friend “spectacularly brave and brilliant… Love you and your beautiful face”.

Andrew Foreshaw-Cain, one of only two Anglican vicars who have flouted the Church of England’s ban on same-sex marriages, said: “It’s a wonderful thing Vicky has done - being true to herself and her faith. The abuse she has suffered is not exceptional but the repeated experience of LGBT people from the Church and the inner turmoil is felt by many.

“The Church - and especially its leaders - needs to listen, truly listen, and take note and work to change the culture that allows this. The bishops have said there are going to be ‘conversations’ lasting two years around the place of LGBT people in the Church. As they delay more young people will be hurt, and damaged by the Church’s current position. Thankfully Vicky’s faith is robust; for many the hurt and confusion drives them from the Church. The bishops have the ability to stop this now. The question is: do they really want to?”

Beeching said although some friends and family, including her parents, disagreed with her views on the theology around homosexuality she had their “unconditional love” about bringing a future partner home.

She said: “They have assured me they would make a real effort to celebrate that. One friend told me that they thought they had rigid beliefs surrounding sexuality but that I had given them a bit of a paradox. I think that comes through from the reaction of a lot of people who can now put a face and feelings towards homosexuality, rather than discussing it in an abstract way which is what the Church does.

“For some people [attitudes] are so ingrained for them to unlearn their beliefs, but I hope I have thrown a conundrum their way.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935