Ahead of our next Virgin Disruptors event in London we've asked members of our Virgin Unite community to tell us who their ultimate disruptor is. Today we have the creator of Pop'n'Olly – an LGBT educational resource for children, parents and teachers – Olly Pike… 

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Who’s your ultimate disruptor? Vicky Beeching

What made her so disruptive?

For me the disruptors are the ones who aren't afraid to stand alone, to speak out when they know the effects could be catastrophic, to be truthful, maintain their integrity, and to do what is right. For me, this person is Vicky Beeching.

I think her story is so important regarding the divide between the LGBT+ community and religion. It seems like two worlds that can never mix, or that a choice has to be made, because surely you can't be both religious and gay? 

That was definitely how I felt as a gay teenager growing up in a Christian family. Although now, I no longer define myself as 'Christian', Vicky Beeching shows us all that we never have to choose between our faith and being who we are.

Vicky Beeching rose to fame in America, and became a household name in Christian Music. She toured the 'Bible-Belt' and performed at various mega churches across the US and Canada. It came as quite a controversial surprise when Vicky came out as gay in 2014. Having been so influential, the simple act of 'coming out' sparked an incredible amount of media attention, both positive and negative, with some praising her actions whilst others condemned her.

Having to choose between your sexuality and your faith can cause great harm to one's self, and Vicky knows this from first-hand experience. She is very open about her story, her thoughts and feelings and the stress which she carried with her until she was 35 years old.

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She also got people talking, she got the church further discussing and addressing their stance on LGBT+ issues, in fact The Guardian called Beeching “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” as she helped to change the Church's opinions on LGBT+ equality.

For me, it's the unity that she has caused and continues to cause, that I find incredible. The bringing together of people, people who are different. Her story is also one of the reasons I was inspired to make one of my recent videos 'God loves LGBT+'.

What Disruptive moment would you like to see happen next?

In terms of LGBT+ equality, my hopes are simply 'normality' (even though there's no such thing as normal). I want to see more same-sex couples doing simple things, holding hands in public, raising a family, being involved and accepted in their community. I myself sometimes feel uncomfortable holding a partners hand in public, it's like I feel exposed, or unsafe. I want this to change.

A large part of what I do with my Youtube Channel, is provide LGBT+ educational resources for children, parents and teachers. My videos and books get used in primary and junior schools across the UK to combat homophobia and discrimination before it can even get off the ground. I think it's vital that we teach the next generation, that we are all equal regardless of our differences

To find out more and buy your ticket, head to Virgin Disruptors.

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