Hatred has been flung at her online ever since: "You've been deceived by the devil," is a typical, charming comment. A week later, she arrives at my flat in east London to tell the story of the scar. As a little girl, Vicky Beeching soon became aware of the attitudes towards homosexuality surrounding her. "It was in children's picture books about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah – hailstones of fire raining down on these cities known for the 'abomination' of homosexuality.Then, as we begin to talk over these implications, she slides her fringe to one side to reveal a wide, white scar running down the length of her forehead. It was viewed as a terrible evil, the cause of the floods.' It felt like all of my relationships were built on this ice that would break if I stepped out on to it."Beeching is cross-legged on a sofa in my living-room, deportment impeccable, done up in a tailored jacket, made up with absolute precision.Her face has a divine, ethereal, bone- structure-to-die-for beauty, like Sharon Stone suppressing her basic instincts.Here, the singer and religious commentator discusses her sexuality for the first time and reflects on the political ramifications of coming out as a lesbian There is no quicker, more effective way to destroy someone than to isolate them. There is also no better way to destroy a group of people than to ensure they do the job for you. On the first occasion, Beeching, normally enlivening Radio 4's Thought for the Day or any number of Sunday morning TV discussion programmes, sits opposite me in a café in Soho. It is a précis she has written of her background: of growing up in a conservative Christian household in Kent, first in the Pentecostal Church then in the evangelical branch of the Church of England, of going to Oxford to study theology, of the EMI recording contract that sent her to Nashville 12 years ago and launched a successful singer-songwriting career… I turn the piece of paper over and look up to see her smiling nervously."I'm gay," she says, confirming what is written.And so, as Beeching's story pours out on a hot afternoon – a story of psychological torture, life-threatening illness and unimaginable loneliness, imposed all around from a supposedly Godly environment – one question fills the air: if shrinks, brutes and fascists know how best to devastate a person, does the Church of England? She has never said this publicly before – a handful of people in her private life know.
So supportive are the messages being sent to Vicky, from all over the world, that she was compelled to tweet a message of thanks.
She said: "Doing all of this is that it gives me the hope that some day I can get married, because until now I didn't think that was possible." 'Obviously I have had some messages from the very conservative Christians which aren't so nice, but I am choosing not to read them for the time being.
Beeching's God-fearing lyrics are sung by millions in America's Bible Belt. Vicky Beeching, 35, British star of the American Christian rock scene, one of the most successful artists in US mega-churches and now one of the most sought-after religious commentators in Britain, knows this too.
Her mother, who is very musical, had taught her to play the piano and guitar, and Beeching was already writing worship songs and performing them at services in front of hundreds.
"It was my one outlet." Her first song, called "Search Me O God", contains, tellingly, the line: "Find any way in me that does not reflect Your purity."That summer, at a Christian youth camp in the English countryside, Beeching became subject to an altogether more extreme way to make her sexuality "pure": an exorcism.