Britain's 'first non-binary CofE priest' says 'God loves variety' trends now
The Church of England's 'first' non-binary vicar said today that discovering new ways of understanding gender makes 'perfect sense for a God who loves variety'.
Bingo Allison, 36, who defines as gender-queer and uses the pronouns 'they/them', experienced an epiphany seven years ago while reading the story of Adam and Eve.
The vicar, who works in Liverpool, said they came to terms with their gender identity while reading Genesis 1-3 in the Old Testament and came out to their wife and three children.
The Church of England's 'first' non-binary vicar said today that discovering new ways of understanding gender makes 'perfect sense for a God who loves variety'
Bingo Allison, 36, is gender-queer and to their knowledge the Church of England's first openly non-binary priest
Schofield told her: 'The point you make, which I thought was lovely when I read it this morning is the fact that you have male and female, and that God created night and day but he also created the times in between - dawn and twilight.'
The vicar replied: 'Creation is full of variety. That's what we learn from creation, is that God loves variety.
'God creates all these different animals, we're still discovering new animals, and the fact we're still discovering new ways of understanding gender makes perfect sense for a God who loves variety.'
Bingo 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 last week.
At that point Bingo 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.
Speaking to BBC Radio Merseyside, Bingo described coming out as a 'gradual process for me and my family.'
They said: 'I'm married and I've got three children, and it was really important to come out to them, give some time letting them understand about me before I emerged on the world.'
'My children are young and when you're little really you accept most things and they've been lovely about it.
'We taught them about trans people before I came out so it wasn't a completely alien thing for them.'
Bingo continued: 'It was difficult for my wife to begin with obviously you marry what you think is a straight guy and suddenly things are more complicated than that.
'But I'd like to believe you marry the person someone becomes as much as you marry the person that they are.'
Bingo uses social media to spread their message and in one playful post wrote how 'Jesus loves sparkly eyeshadow'
Bingo, who previously trained to become a priest in Durham, said the Church of England was 'open to me coming out'