This week, Vicky Beeching, respected Christian thought leader, musician, and keynote speaker at the upcoming Gay Christian Network (GCN) conference, announced that she is gay.
“For so many Christians in the public eye, coming out as LGBT is a terrifying proposition,” said Justin Lee, executive director of GCN. “But it sends a powerfully positive message to closeted LGBT Christian youth everywhere who need role models in the church. We at GCN congratulate Vicky Beeching on her courageous decision and are excited to walk this journey with her as our sister and friend.”
“We’re also excited to welcome her as a keynote speaker at our 2015 annual conference, continuing our tradition of hearing from important, culture-shaping Christian voices,” Lee said. GCN is gearing up for its 11th annual conference in Portland, Oregon, from January 8–11, 2015. Vicky Beeching is confirmed as one of the conference’s keynote speakers, alongside author Jeff Chu and Southern Baptist pastor Danny Cortez.
As of this week, the Christian theologian became even more influential for members of the Christian LGBT/ally community—including the attendees of the GCN conference. In an interview with The Independent, Vicky Beeching said, “What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”
Keynote speakers at the GCN conference, like Beeching, share their own perspectives on important topics for believers in Christ, including members and supporters of the LGBT community. The growing number of attendees at this conference (which has risen from 40 guests in 2005 to 750 in 2013) is a testament to the value of speakers like Beeching—and their personal experiences.
After her announcement, Beeching illustrated what is often seen as a paradox for many Church members around the world. She has come out—and is unquestionably Christian. In light of Beeching’s news, GCN volunteer and seasoned conference attendee Andrew Roblyer sees the positive message that is being sent. As a member of the GCN community, Roblyer said, “I can’t wait to see how this new chapter to her story will encourage and inspire conference attendees in their own coming out journeys.”
“For many people, their first time at a GCN conference is the first time that they are able to fully be themselves,” he continued. GCN believes that Vicky Beeching ’s presence, along with the many other influential guests at its conference, will speak volumes about what it really means to be a follower of Christ.
About The Gay Christian Network
The Gay Christian Network is an interdenominational nonprofit organization supporting LGBT Christians and those who love them. GCN offers an online community with over 20,000 members along with other videos, articles, and resources, on its website at gaychristian.net. Each year, the organization hosts the annual GCN conference, which features some of the leading voices in today’s LGBT and Christian conversations. It has grown from just 40 attendees to 750 in only 10 years.
Photo : © Nicholas Dawkes Photography 2014