I read this article and then an updated edition of the "That God Show" podcast downloaded onto my iPad, which included an interview with Pearson. This is what I've learned about Pearson over the past 24 hours. He's 35. He became a born again Christian when he was really young. He recognized that he wasn't quite straight when he was young, but thought -- due to propaganda from his church community -- that marrying a woman would straighten him out. He didn't even kiss a girl until he got married. He continued to struggle internally. He and his wife had kids. He and his wife struggled with their mixed-orientation marriage. He eventually came out. Now they are separating and in the process of getting divorced.
Trey came out to his fans with the following letter:
To my fans and friends:So there's that.
Most of us reach at least one pivotal moment in our lives that better defines who we are.
These last several months have been the hardest – but have also ended up being the most freeing months — of my life.
To make an extremely long story short, I have come to be able to admit to myself, and to my family, that I am gay.
I grew up in a very conservative Christian home where I was taught that my sexual orientation was a matter of choice, and had put all my faith into that. I had never before admitted to myself that I was gay, let alone to anyone else. I never wanted to be gay. I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me; so it never was an option for me. I have been suppressing these attractions and feelings since adolescence. I’ve tried my whole life to be straight. I married a girl, and I even have two beautiful little kids. My daughter, Liv, is six and my son, Beckham, is two.
I had always romanticized the idea of falling in love with a woman; and having a family had always been my dream. In many ways, that dream has come true. But I have also come to realize a lot of time has passed in my life pushing away, blocking out and not dealing with real feelings going on inside of me. I have tried not to be gay for more than 20 years of my life. I found so much comfort as a teen in 1 Samuel 18-20 and the intimacy of Jonathan and David. I thought and hoped that such male intimacy could fulfill that void I felt in my desire for male companionship. I always thought if I could find these intimate friendships, then that would be enough.
Then I thought everything would come naturally on my wedding night. I honestly had never even made out with a girl before I got married. Of course, it felt anything but natural for me. Trying not to be gay, has only led to a desire for intimacy in friendships which pushed friends away, and it has resulted in a marriage where I couldn’t love or satisfy my wife in a way that she needed. Still, I tried to convince myself that this was what God wanted and that this would work. I thought all of those other feelings would stay away if I could just do this right.
When Lauren and I got married, I committed to loving her to the best of my ability, and I had the full intention of spending the rest of my life with her. Despite our best efforts, however, I have come to accept that there is nothing that is going to change who I am.
I have intensely mixed feelings about the changes that have resulted in my life. While I regret the way I was taught to handle this growing up, how much it has hurt me and the unintentional pain I have brought Lauren, I wouldn’t have the friendship I now have with her, and we wouldn’t have our two amazing, beautiful children. But if I keep trying to push this down it will end up hurting her even more.
I am never going to be able to change how I am, and no matter how healthy our relationship becomes, it’s never going to change what I know deep down: that I am gay. Lauren has been the most supportive, understanding, loving and gracious person I could ever ask for, as I have come to face this. And now I am trying to figure out how to co-parent while being her friend, and how to raise our children.
I have progressed so much in my faith over these last several years. I think I needed to be able to affirm other gay people before I could ever accept it for myself. Likewise, I couldn’t expect others to accept me how I am until I could come to terms with it first.
I know I have a long way to go. But if this honesty with myself about who I am, and who I was made by God to be, doesn’t constitute as the peace that passes all understanding, then I don’t know what does. It is like this weight I have been carrying my whole life has been lifted from me, and I have never felt such freedom.
In sharing this publicly I’m taking another step into health and wholeness by accepting myself, and every part of me. It’s not only an idea for me that I’m gay; It’s my life. This is me being authentic and real with myself and other people. This is a part of who I am.
I hope people will hear my heart, and that I will still be loved. I’m still the same guy, with the same heart, who wants to love God and love people with everything I have. This is a part of me I have come to be able to accept, and now it is a part of me that you know as well. I trust God to help love do the rest.
By the way, did I mention that I discovered this story on the Gay Christian Network's Facebook page? Naturally, the FB post attracted a lot of comments from LGBT Christians and supporters. But it also attracted a group of anti-gay Christian trolls. Because they have nothing better to do than try chipping away at the faith of other Christians.
One particular troll went off on this rant about how God hates homosexuality and you can know because "he destroyed Sodom and Gohmorrah (sp) on account it." As she said, "homosexuality is the one and only reason God destroyed it (Sodom)."
So I commented with "Ezekiel 16:49: Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."
This troll then told me that I need to read the rest of the chapter. "It has nothing to do with feeding the poor."
So I posted a link to the entire Ezekiel 16, which had nothing to do with homosexuality. Though there were references to prostitution.
She then yelled at me: "Jon Trouten , YOU WILL FIND LOTS OF LIES OUT THERE TO SUPPORT YOUR SIN...BUT IT'S ABOUT Killing The Sin SON."
Which prompted me to shake my head and comment: "Whatever. Meanwhile, people like Trey Pearson on continuously pressured into believing that God will transform them into heterosexuals if they just try hard enough. And then they make heterosexual spouses part of their change effort and then they get kids and the change never happens and neither spouse is equally yoked or content within these marriages. It's nice for people like you to pile on against us. But we see the results of your lies. We've seen the lives and the families and their collective faith that's been poisoned because of your lies." I then remarked that she did a good job of telling us that Sodom is only concerned about Sodom and then ignoring scripture that directly contradicts her statement.
That went over like a lead balloon. "Jon Trouten , since you are so "BENT" on your sin of homosexuality, you just go ahead and live for your father Satan, he will make sure you are good and comfortable living in that sin, but like I said brother, I fear for your soul, may you decide to repent Before Jesus Christ before Satan drags you into hell."
I suggested that she fear for her own soul and then reminded her of 1 Timothy 2:12. That's the sexist verse that instructs women to remain silent and to certain not instruct men about Biblical matters. It was a low blow and I normally disagree with that instruction. But I was feeling feisty. Seriously. I'm terribly sorry...
Anyway, another troll joined in and told me that I need to read the King James Version of the Bible because there is so much meaning that I'm missing out on compared to the other liberal versions of the Bible. So I linked to the KJV of the Bible for Ezekiel chapter 16. Still no mentions of homosexuality.
The anti-gay troll then told me that I have no Biblical discernment, because if I did, "you would know that God sent in a messenger to warn that unless they (the homosexuals) repented of their sins, that he was going to destoy Sodom and Gohmorrah and they (just like you) would not listen, so he destroyed it."
Which made me scratch my head. "Your own discernment is shaky. An entire community was gay (except for the guy who got drunk and had sex with his daughters after his wife went all salty on him)? It seems to me that you are just trying to make it all about homosexuality based off that attempted gang rape scene right before everything went up in smoke so that you don't need to look inward at how you treat the poor and the needy in your circle of the world."
She then began citing John 7:7, but quoting from Romans 1. Repeatedly. Which made me laugh. But then made me remember that I'm dealing with someone who thinks that Christianity is all about kicking down the gays and less about connecting with Christ.
And that's how I wasted a portion of my evening yesterday.
Happy Coming Out Day, Trey Pearson!