A Salute to Vicky Beeching

I have to admit I had never heard of Vicky Beeching until yesterday. Then I saw a link to this article posted on Twitter, and I felt compelled to click through.

And suddenly, all my problems seemed pretty small.

Let’s try to put this in perspective. You are in your twenties, hugely famous among a large group, famous enough that you routinely perform before 15 to 20 thousand people. You’re making great money doing what you love, making music, and people love you for it.

But you have a problem.

The people who love your music, as a group, are almost monolithically opposed to certain attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Vocally so. It’s a fundamental part of their identity.

And one of the qualities they oppose is a foundation-stone of who you are. They take it for granted that you stand with them in opposition to this quality, and you have tried all your life to rise, as you see it, above that part of your nature.

Until you finally realize you can’t wish that part–or any other part–of yourself away. You can’t ignore it. You can’t even pray it away.

But if you embrace it, it will mean alienating the huge majority of the people who love your work, who make it possible for you to do what you love. It may mean you can never make a living playing music again.

You can sacrifice the thing you feel you were born to do–or you can spend the rest of your life lying about who you are.

Plenty of people have made the second choice. This week, Ms. Beeching made the first, coming out in an interview with The Independent published Wednesday.

It’s been almost twenty years since I thought of myself as an evangelical Christian. Twenty years ago, the evangelicals I knew were outspokenly opposed to homosexuality, many of them speaking of it as a sinful condition that can be healed with enough love and prayer and faith. By all appearances, the church has become more conservative since then, not less.

So Ms. Beeching can look forward to years of scorn and judgment–all in the name of love and concern for her salvation. There will be long letters and emails from sincere and loving individuals appealing to her to embrace the Holy Spirit, to ask Jesus to heal her, to let God help her find her way to Him.

There will also be condemnation. There will be death threats. There will be promises that she will burn in hell.

And she will never have to lie again. Her integrity, her identity, comes at a high price. And she has decided it’s worth it.

Courage like this young woman showed this week is the reason I write.

What do you think of this story? What would you do in her situation?

I've been a soldier, a dreamer, a working stiff, a leader. A husband, father, example (good and otherwise), and now a survivor. I write about courage, because courage is what enables us to accomplish the impossible. If you draw breath, I love you. If you love in whatever way seems best to you and want others to love in whatever way seems best to them, I am your ally. If you believe someone is less than you because they do not love the way you do, I oppose you. If you see someone as a threat to be abused or destroyed merely because they do not look like you, or love like you, or worship like you, I am your enemy. I am a joyful and courageous man. And I stand with you who love.