A popular Christian rock star is risking his career by coming out as gay.
Trey Pearson is the lead singer of Everyday Sunday, which has sold about 250,000 albums in 15 years, and the group’s 2009 album, “Best Night of Our Lives,” managed to break out of the Christian music charts and onto the Billboard 200 chart.
The 35-year-old Pearson acknowledged to fans that he is gay in an interview with (614) Magazine, an entertainment and culture publication in Columbus, Ohio, and he also spoke to Religion News about his acceptance of his own sexual orientation.
“I never wanted to be gay,” he wrote in a letter to fans published by (614). “I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me, so it was never an option for me.”
Pearson married a woman eight years ago, and they had two children together — but the singer realized he “was never going to be who my wife needed me to be.”
“I was not making it an option to be gay so I could be loyal to her and my children,” he told Religion News. “But then I realized the only way I was ever going to be my best for them was to be healthy myself.”
He sought out spiritual guidance from pastor Jonathan Martin, author of “How to Survive a Shipwreck,” who recommended a trusted counselor, and he spoke to his mentor and friend Rob Bell, a former pastor and author of “How to Be Here.”
Pearson, who was brought up in a conservative Christian household, said he won’t abandon his faith — but he said the Bible verses that directly address homosexuality won’t stop him from enjoying a loving and committed relationship with another gay man.
“There is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus,” he said. “God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated and my truest self.”
Some other popular Christian musicians — including Ray Boltz, Jennifer Knapp and Vicky Beeching — have seen their songs vanish from churches and religious radio playlists after coming out.
But Pearson is willing to take that risk, even as he hopes changing attitudes will help his career survive and serve as an inspiration to other gay Christians.
“I definitely know how hard it was on my journey to be able to accept myself, and how other people’s voices and stories helped me,” he said. “So I absolutely want to be a voice for other people. I know there are more and more Christians that realize how important this is, and I hope I can join with them in seeing this change.”