Tag Archives: courage


Last night, on my way home I saw this tweet from Vicky Beeching:

Her coming out as a gay Christian will no doubt comfort and inspire others (and probably horrify a fair few too). She is so very, very brave.

Here is the interview with her by the Independent.

I was struck by her comment on integrity.

“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.”

It’s important to be honest about who you are and bring all of you to bear, living authentically from your heart. Too often we (wider society, in the Church and beyond) have forced people who might be gay, or queer, or in any way different to the norms we expect of men or women to hide their lights or dim them – mostly for our own comfort and convenience. In doing so, I believe we make it hard for them to live with integrity – dignity even. This can wound; it can even kill. And it deprives us collectively as a society of so many bright and beautiful lights, each unique in their own way, as we all are, and who make the sky more lovely to look at.

Shine bright, Vicky. It’s good to see you.

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Inspirational Woman: Cecile Kyenge

Cécile_Kyenge_-_The_State_of_the_Union_2013I wrote a profile of Italian politician Cecile Kyenge for Black Feminists’ Inspirational Women Series – click to read it on the Black Feminists Website.


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A sorry business

While speculation raged over David Cameron’s weakness in the face of 100 Tory rebels which forced him to rely on Labour to see off a rebel amendment to the Immigration Bill that would see the UK basically bar foreign criminals from using European human rights law to avoid deportation, certain potentially discriminatory practices were given the weight of law:

Such as the phenomenon of the never-ending border check:

1. Landlords will have to check the immigration status of tenants, facing large fines if they fall foul of the law.

2. So will banks.

3. Students will have to pay temporary levy towards the NHS.

4. The rules on appeals against immigration decisions have been drastically altered, to the detriment of the migrant.

And this is before we look at the effects on the most vulnerable- refugees, migrant women fleeing domestic violence.

While my MP was thankfully one of the 16 MPs with the courage of their convictions to vote against this bill, so many abdicated their responsibility. I knew this was coming but it’s so disheartening nonetheless. Too many reports are on process – the political winners (the rebels? Whatever – no one who matters anyway) and losers (Cameron and May – and I’d add decency and justice), but this Bill will have implications for us all.

The takeaway from this? Be mindful of who you love (and hope you earn enough to stay together in Britain if your beloved is from outside the EU.)Be mindful not to get tangled up in the system if you can help it – you may have no space to appeal. Try not to sound too foreign, look too foreign (apologies to all who look a little too dusky) or have a complicated name or weird accent – especially when renting housing, going to the bank or the hospital.

Oh, and just in general now – try not to be poor.

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