It would be curious and interesting to know the position of our sober progressive Pope Francis on the news that is making the rounds of the world about Allison, England’s first* non-binary priest.
‘When I wear my collar I want to let people know that it’s all right and that there is a place in the church and the world for people like me too,’ is how Bingo Allison, the first* priest who does not identify with any gender: neither female nor male, tells it like it is.
Discovering one’s identity is a deeply personal and intimate journey, a smooth path for many and a tortuous one for others, a journey that varies from person to person. And in this journey, Allison declares that they have been guided by God himself. A path – it is clear – that is causing much talk and at times discussion.
The 36-year-old from Norris Green, a suburb of Liverpool, has spoken in several interviews recently about how valuable, almost life-saving, it has been to meet other people from the LGBTQIA+ and religious communities. For Allison it was a real turning point, allowing them to internalise their true essence and unhinge the superstructures of a bigoted and often ignorant world, of which they themselves were an unwitting victim.
During this journey, Allison recognises the centrality that God has assumed in their self-discovery, through a journey they describe as a “profound spiritual experience”.
Today Bingo Allison works meticulously and with conviction to make the Liverpool church an inclusive and welcoming space for every LGBTQIA+ person, working in collaboration with associations supporting queer youth groups.
Between school visits and seminars, Allison would like to offer a new face of the religious environment, opening the doors to anyone living free of prejudice.
Their only goal is, therefore, to point out and show young people that they are welcome, whatever their gender identity.
Could this be the beginning of a journey, certainly not an easy or short one, in which religion moves away from the current conservative stance, and welcomes diversity in all of its forms? History will provide the answer.
Giorgio Galluzzo, Business Development Executive