Share

Britain’s ‘first non-binary CofE priest’: 36-year-old vicar with three children reveals ‘God guided me to the truth about my gender identity’ and believes ‘Jesus loves sparkly eyeshadow’

  • Bingo Allison is believed to be the CofE’s first openly non-binary priest
  • Grew up in ‘strongly religious household’ and raised to see being gay as ‘sinful’ 
  • They experienced an epiphany seven years ago while reading a Bible passage

<!–

<!–

<!– <!–

<!–
(function (src, d, tag){ var s = d.createElement(tag), prev = d.getElementsByTagName(tag)[0]; s.src = src; prev.parentNode.insertBefore(s, prev); }(“https://www.dailymail.co.uk/static/gunther/1.17.0/async_bundle–.js”, document, “script”));
<!– DM.loadCSS(“https://www.dailymail.co.uk/static/gunther/gunther-2159/video_bundle–.css”);
<!–

The Church of England’s ‘first’ non-binary vicar is a 36-year-old with three children who believes they were directed by God to discover the ‘truth’ about their gender identity. 

Bingo Allison, who defines as gender-queer and uses the pronouns ‘they/them’, experienced an epiphany seven years ago while reading a passage from the Old Testament. 

A third-generation vicar originally from West Yorkshire, Allison said they previously had a ‘very conservative and traditional’ outlook on life after being brought up to believe being gay was ‘sinful’. 

But the priest, who works in Liverpool, is now vocal about gender issues and uses social media to spread their message – including posting selfies with lighthearted captions such as how Jesus ‘loves sparkly eyebrows’. 

Bingo Allison, 36, is gender-queer and to their knowledge the Church of England's first openly non-binary priest

Bingo Allison, 36, is gender-queer and to their knowledge the Church of England’s first openly non-binary priest

They grew up in a 'strongly religious' household in West Yorkshire and was raised to believe being gay was 'sinful'

They grew up in a ‘strongly religious’ household in West Yorkshire and was raised to believe being gay was ‘sinful’

Allison spoke about their ’15-year journey’ to embrace their gender in an interview with the Liverpool Echo

‘My views used to be very traditional and very conservative certainly. Some might call them bigoted and there was a lot of ignorance and a lot of ”othering”,’ they said. 

‘I didn’t take the time to learn from other people’s experiences. I was definitely in a lot of denial and some of that denial came out in denial of other people’s identities.’ 

Allison came out seven years ago halfway through the Church of England’s vicar training programme. 

They explained how the language which the bible originally used in Genesis 1:27 spoke about ‘from maleness to femaleness’ as opposed to men and women.

‘I was sitting there in the middle of the night when I realised I might need to run my life upside down – it was a deepening spiritual experience,’ they said.  

At that point Allison had only met two openly gay people and no trans people, and there were times when they questioned their new gender identity. 

Now they visit schools and speak to youth groups to encourage other LGBTQ+ people they have a place in the church. 

Allison uses social media to spread their message and in one playful post wrote how 'Jesus loves sparkly eyeshadow'

Allison uses social media to spread their message and in one playful post wrote how ‘Jesus loves sparkly eyeshadow’ 

They came out seven years ago halfway through the Church of England's vicar training programme after having an epiphany while reading the Old Testament

They came out seven years ago halfway through the Church of England’s vicar training programme after having an epiphany while reading the Old Testament

In a speech to a church panel on making churches more inclusive, Allison said Christianity had historically been guilty of prioritising the views of ‘rich, white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, neurotypical men’. 

Explaining that they are also autistic and dyspraxic, Allison wrote: ‘I am passionate about fully including neurodivergent people in the life and faith of the Church, particularly in our telling and retelling of stories from the Bible. 

‘The history of biblical interpretation is littered with the opinions of rich, white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, neurotypical men assuming that everyone in the passages that they read thought like them and perceived the world like them. 

‘The biases that this creates exclude anyone who doesn’t fit from fully engaging with the Bible, and often lead the church to miss out on vital perspective on all sorts of biblical narratives.

‘So if Biblical scholars tended to be neurotypical and tended to assume that everyone they read about in the Bible was like them unless specifically informed otherwise, what would happen if I assumed the opposite? 

‘What if a neurodivergent hermeneutic started with the assumption that, unless specifically informed otherwise, certain characters were neurodivergent?’

A photo of Allison being ordained in 2020 at St Margaret's Toxteth in the Diocese of Liverpool

A photo of Allison being ordained in 2020 at St Margaret’s Toxteth in the Diocese of Liverpool

A photo from the ceremony in September 2020. Allison believes they are the first non-binary Church of England vicar

A photo from the ceremony in September 2020. Allison believes they are the first non-binary Church of England vicar 

Allison says that during their educational work they are constantly impressed by how ‘open-minded’ younger people are. 

A recent survey by Stonewall found that more than a quarter of younger people now identify as LGBT

The LGBTQ+ charity claimed 71 per cent of Gen Z respondents – those aged 16 to 26 – identify as straight.

The figure is a contrast to the Baby Boomer generation – those aged 56 to 75 – in which 91 per cent described themselves as straight. 

Of the next generation, Gen X, described as being those aged 43 to 56, Stonewall said 87 per cent said they were straight.

The figure was 82 per cent for Millennials – those aged 27 to 42 – according to the charity. 

In its report, which uses data from polling company Ipsos UK, Stonewall said the results show Britain is becoming a ‘rainbow nation’. 

Now they visit schools and speak to youth groups to encourage other LGBTQ+ people they have a place in the church

Now they visit schools and speak to youth groups to encourage other LGBTQ+ people they have a place in the church

Allison has said Christianity had historically been guilty of prioritising the views of 'rich, white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, neurotypical men'

Allison has said Christianity had historically been guilty of prioritising the views of ‘rich, white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, neurotypical men’

Source: Daily Mail UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Radio
WP Radio
OFFLINE LIVE