Devout + Out: PipAn openly queer, ex-evangelical pastor explains his path to the Anglican priesthood. NOW STREAMING ON CBC GEM
An openly queer, ex-evangelical pastor explains his path to the Anglican priesthood.
Pip grew up in a conservative evangelical Christian community. From an early age, he knew he was gay. But as a pastor’s son, Pip believed that there would be great consequences for being queer — in this life and the next.
In the early 2000s, teenage Pip was placed in “reparative therapy” (sometimes referred to as “praying the gay away”). It didn’t work. In his early 20s, still struggling with failed conversion therapy, Pip chose to marry his best friend Kris (a woman) in an attempt to “fix” himself. After the birth of their second child, Pip found himself depressed and living life in an alcohol-fuelled blur.
Pip and Kris decided to divorce, but continued to live and raise their family together. When Pip came out as queer, he was asked to leave his church. He and Kris were also kicked out of their evangelical community. They lost many friends, Pip’s mental health spiralled, and Kris struggled to care for both Pip and their children.
But this was not the end of their journey.
Eventually, Pip returned to school to study in the Anglican tradition, a denomination with a growing number of progressive parishioners and clergy members. A few years later, Pip met Alex, a young filmmaker with no religious background, and they fell in love. Now, Pip, Alex and Kris all live together as one family: three parents, all playing equal roles, and two children.
In terms of his religious life, Pip found a new community where he became a priest in an Anglican parish. His sexuality, partnership and family are welcomed. Pip is breaking new ground by curating queer-focused events and services, like inviting drag queens and other LGBTQ activists to perform and take part in the church.
During the 2016 Synod election campaign, Pip advocated to allow same-sex couples to marry in the Anglican Church of Canada. He and Alex created advocacy videos that showcased queer Anglican families faithfully living their truth. To their delight, the vote passed. Pip and Alex were able to marry at their home parish, with Kris as their “brosmaid” and the full support of their community.