A non-binary gender-queer Anglican priest in the United Kingdom is on record claiming to use the clerical position in hopes of “normalizing” such behavior among children.
“I try to get involved in, not just in my religious work but outside it, with the local secular LGBT youth groups,” said Rev. Bingo Allison, a Church of England priest in the Diocese of Liverpool who identifies as gender-queer and uses “they/them” pronouns, according to an interview with the Liverpool Echo.
“One of the biggest things is just being a visual representation in my community and going into schools, doing assemblies and making a huge difference in normalizing it for children. When I’m wearing my collar it lets children know that is OK and that there is a place in church and the outside world for people like me,” Allison added.
Allison, who claims to be the first non-binary gender-queer priest in England’s established church, claimed to have discovered a biblical basis for gender fluidity during a late-night reading of Genesis 1:27, which recounts how God created humans male and female.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them,” reads the verse, which Allison maintained expresses “maleness to femaleness” instead of men and women.
Allison described the revelation as “a deepening spiritual experience” by which God “was guiding me into this new truth about myself.”
“One of the things that has kept with my ministry ever since is that transition and coming out can and should be a spiritual experience, as well as an emotional and social and sometimes physical one,” Allison told the U.K. outlet. “There is something beautiful about growing into who we were created to be and growing into our authentic selves.”
A third-generation priest and father of three who was ordained at Liverpool Cathedral in 2020, Allison claimed to have grown up in a household that was “strongly religious” and believed homosexuality and transgender behavior to be a “sinful thing.”
But after learning the term “gender-queer” about seven years ago, Allison said “everything suddenly clicked.”
“It was a lot harder than I thought having come out to myself to then remain in the closet,” Allison said. “There were definitely lots of times before when I kind of questioned my identity but growing up in a more conservative form of Christianity meant that it was just so far beyond my imagination.”
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