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Vicky Beeching: 'I'm gay'

Worship leader and Christian commentator Vicky Beeching has opened up on her sexuality to a national newspaper.

The 35 year-old, who became known by performing at Christian festivals both in the UK and the US, says she's struggled with the issue her whole life but is now ready to go public.

Speaking to The Independent she explained how she first noticed her attraction to other girls at the age of 12.

She said: "Realising that I was attracted to them was a horrible feeling. I was so embarrassed and ashamed. It became more and more of a struggle because I couldn't tell anyone."

In the in-depth interview she talks about how she sought help to get rid of her same sex feelings firstly by going to confession with a Catholic priest then by asking for prayer at a large Christian event.

At the conference she said a group prayed over her that the demon of homosexuality would free her but she found the experience "degrading" and "humiliating".

Her career has seen her release several worship albums and tour the world but she exited the spotlight after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called linear scleroderma morphea.

Her condition required chemotherapy.

She was told by a doctor that it was stress induced and she believes her trigger was her battle with her sexuality.

It was a result of this part of her life that she vowed to tell friends and family.

Now a regular commentator on Christian issues on both TV and radio she says she's ready to let the world know and wants the Church to reconsider the way it views homosexuality.

She 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.

"When I think of myself at 13, sobbing into that carpet, I just want to help anyone in that situation to not have to go through what I did, to show that instead, you can be yourself - a person of integrity.

"The Church's teaching was the reason that I lived in so much shame and isolation and pain for all those years.

"But rather than abandon it and say it's broken, I want to be part of the change."

Her story's received a huge response on social media already.

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