We review ‘Undivided: Coming out, becoming whole and living free from shame’, the new book by Vicky Beeching, published by William Collins. Vicky made her name as a singer and songwriter specialising in worship songs which proved very popular in evangelical circles, particularly in the US.
Since coming out as gay, Vicky gave up her music career, and she now works as a writer, broadcaster and campaigner for equality. This book tells the story of how she gradually discovered that it was actually ok to be a Christian and a lesbian, and also of how she came to terms with the backlash which inevitably followed from some Christians who saw her as being on the road to hell.
Vicky Beeching began writing songs for the church in her teens. By the time she reached her early thirties, Vicky was a household name in Christian music on both sides of the pond.
Singing in America’s largest megachurches, and recording a string of albums, her songs have been used in worship gatherings around the globe and translated into numerous languages. But this poster girl for evangelical Christianity lived with a debilitating inner battle: she was gay. The tens of thousands of traditional Christians she sang in front of were unanimous in their view — they staunchly opposed same-sex relationships and saw homosexuality as a grievous sin. Beeching knew if she ever spoke up about her identity it would cost her everything.
Faced with a major health crisis, at the age of thirty-five Vicky decided she needed to tell the world that she was gay. As a result, all hell broke loose. She lost her music career and livelihood, faced threats and vitriol from traditionalists, developed further health issues from the immense stress, and had to rebuild her life almost from scratch. But despite losing so much she gained far more: she was finally able to live from a place of wholeness, vulnerability, and authenticity. She finally found peace. Vicky has now become a champion for others, fighting for LGBTQ+ equality in the church and in the corporate sector, and speaking up about mental health awareness.
Her courageous work is creating change in the UK, the US, and around the world, as she urges people to celebrate diversity, live authentically, and become undivided.