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Vicky Beeching: Church must change or it’ll cause more LGBTI suicides

Written by gaytourism

Vicky Beeching says the Church must change if it wants to appeal to the younger generation

Gay religious campaigner Vicky Beeching has said the way the church teaches LGBTI theology must change.

The former rock star, who lost her Christian music career after coming out, has said she has suffered mental health issues as a direct result of church teachings.

Now a mental health advocate, writer and author, the 38-year-old has given a clear warning on the future of the Church of England.

Vicky Beeching: Exorcism left ‘long-lasting’ psychological damage

In her new book, Undivided, Beeching reveals she was the victim of an exorcism as a teen.

Even when she was younger, she thought her feelings for women were natural. The exorcism planted a psychological seed that made her think at the time she was controlled by demons.

‘It’s left long-lasting damage,’ she tells Gay Star News. ‘It’s hard to undo that mind programming that says certain desires are bad and shameful.’

She added: ‘I felt like I had failed as a Christian… I didn’t know why God hadn’t set me free, why he hadn’t made me straight.’

Beeching was left angry, in grief and isolated from her church community.

As her career blossomed as a performer in religious venues across the American South, the former singer said everyone around her felt like ‘strangers’.

An autoimmune disease exacerbated by stress over being closeted, and the wish to be free, sparked her coming out in 2014.

Church must change or it will cause more mental health issues and suicides

A young man in church

Do you ever pray? (Photo: Photo: Unsplash/Karl Fredrickson)

In Undivided, the book opens with Beeching seriously considering killing herself by throwing herself under a London underground train.

She is now hoping the Church considers the damage they are doing to vulnerable LGBTI people.

‘The evangelical church is trying to be more open about mental health,’ Beeching said.

‘If your mental health issues are being caused by church teachings about being gay, that’s not going to be well received.

‘Church teachings contributed to my depression and anxiety. I’m glad there’s more dialogue around mental health but it’s not going to change until there’s change in teachings about LGBTI theology.’

She added: ‘I’ve been told over the years that depression and anxiety will go if you pray. I’ve been advised to not take medication and that wasn’t the answer, and only God could bring healing.

‘Along with the teachings that God could make me straight, I was also told God could take away my mental health struggles. It was very damaging.

‘Being told it’s your fault because you’re not praying hard enough’

Vicky Beeching portrait taken from her Instagram page

Vicky Beeching | Photo: Instagram/vickybeeching

‘It makes you feel like you’re to blame. It’s the most horrible feeling. There’s nothing worse when feeling vulnerable than being told it’s your fault because you’re not praying hard enough.’

Beeching says the church must change otherwise it will risk alienating the younger generation.

‘Much of the change has to happen on a grassroots level,’ she said. ‘If we want young people in our pews, we have to listen to what they want.’

But what can a LGBTI person do if they are struggling with their faith and it’s affecting their mental health?

‘There’s nothing to be afraid of,’ Beeching advises. ‘There’s plenty of great academic scholars who say the Bible does not condemn same-sex relationships and that you can have a happy whole life.

‘You don’t have to choose between your faith and your sexual or gender identity.’

Undivided is out now.

Read more

Gay singer Vicky Beeching utterly destroys anti-gay pastor in TV debate

Vicky Beeching on loneliness, coming out and volunteering to undergo exorcism

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