The first non-binary priest in the Church of England has said they had a “revelation” after reading the bible story of Adam and Eve.
36-year-old Bingo Allison said they define themselves as “gender-queer”, using the pronouns they/them.
Growing up in a religious home in West Yorkshire, Bingo said they were told throughout childhood that being gay was a sin.
“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’.”
“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.”
Bingo trained to become a priest in Durham and said the Church of England welcomed them coming out.
Seven years ago while reading the bible, they said they were inspired, explaining: “There's space in God's creation for change and transformation, just because you're created one way doesn't mean that you can't live another”.
Bingo now visits schools, speaking with youths and encouraging LGBTQ+ people to join the church. Bingo Allison
They called it “a deepening spiritual experience” when they read in Genesis 1:27 about “maleness to femaleness”.
They continued: “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.”
Reflecting on how the change impacted their relationship with their wife and children, they said: “Obviously you marry what you think it a straight guy and obviously things are more complicated than that”.
Bingo trained to become a priest in Durham and said the Church of England welcomed them coming out. Bingo Allison
“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 now visits schools, speaking with youths and encouraging LGBTQ+ people to join the church.
36-year-old Bingo Allison said they define themselves as “gender-queer”, using the pronouns they/them Bingo Allison