Last week, the Internet (or at least Christianized corners of the Internet) went abuzz over the lead singer of a Christian rock band coming out as gay. Trey Pearson is his name, and he fronts Everyday Sunday, a successful group of the last two decades.

You can read the full article of Trey Pearson’s coming out here, including chunks of a letter that Trey wrote to his family upon coming out. Trey had a wife, and he has two kids.

Here’s Trey Pearson’s recent interview from The View:

We authors at Your Other Brothers have a private Facebook group where we — among other less serious things — discuss current events and articles like this one. We’ve had a fascinating conversation going about Trey Pearson, his coming out, and what it means to struggle with homosexuality or be a “gay Christian” in today’s culture.

So, rather than type out some sophisticated response, I figured I’d open the window a crack and let y’all into the discussion.

We hope you feel a little less alone in tagging along with us.

~ ~ ~

Sam: Honestly? I’m kinda discouraged. Because I’m 99% attracted to guys and 1% to girls, I have a big fear of marrying a girl, starting a family, and then not being able to be all that I should to her. It makes me not want to think about marriage in the future — the thought of breaking her heart is too much.

Marshall: Sam, I have faced that whole thing of marriage to a woman and decided NOT to get married, at least for now. Jonathan/David friendships ARE possible with no sex. Some of mine seem close to that. Marriage with a woman is also possible.

Jeffery: He seemed more humble than others I’ve read, like Jennifer Knapp, and I can see his heart behind coming out, coming to terms with his sexuality, and all that. But it’s all heart. He’s leading by feeling in lieu of fact. Like, how did these white preachers come to the conclusion that homosexuality was wrong? Was it because of a culture of homophobia, or is it based on something?

Corey: I used to think we grew up in the worst society in which there is so much judgment, fear, and shaming for Christians who deal with SSA. But now, I’m worried for future generations.

I wonder which society is truly the more challenging one to live in: one in which people with SSA are ignored and rejected within the Church, where it is taboo to speak of the subject (but where living out homosexual desires is clearly defined and acknowledged as sin), or a society where choosing to live out one’s homosexual desires is applauded and admired within the Church (but where the passages defining homosexual acts as sin are ignored or redefined)?

This is a question I haven’t seriously thought about until now. Which society will truly be more difficult for the Christian with SSA? Both seem to include their own unique challenges, advantages, and disadvantages.

Jeffery: I think this is a great question. We see the Church (or maybe just the western Church?) becoming more and more gay-affirming. People are likening it to the Church’s response to slavery, saying we’re on “the wrong side of history.” I would say that the former is probably more damaging because it too often leads to people leaving the Church, leaving their families, and/or committing suicide. When people are convinced that the wrong is right . . . well, it’s still damaging, but I feel like those effects are less obvious.

John: Just read the article. Man, this is heartbreaking. I used to listen to some of their songs several years ago, but I don’t really have a ton of connection to him or the band. It’s so scary how he just gave up. I mean, in his mind, he’s accepting who he thinks he is, but it’s just a lie.

P.K.: The heroes of our age are those that “are true to themselves.”  I saw the new trailer for Star Trek Beyond. One of the lines was something like, “You spent so much time trying to be your father; now, you have to figure out who you really are.”

Heroes are figures of ultimate good. It fits that accepting yourself for who you are and Christianity will go together. Or maybe not Christianity, but the western Church.

The villains of our time are those that hinder sex-expression and realization. The Church doesn’t want to be a villain; it wants to support the heroes.

We set ourselves up for this. We allowed ideas into our community — not the idea that “it’s ok to be gay,” but the idea that self-identity, or even just identity is everything.

“This is who I am in Christ” is still a focus on “who I am.” “This is who I am in Christ” is not necessarily evil, but it is individualistic. Our individualism has brought us here.

If we are going to maintain that homosexual behavior is wrong, we need to fix the ideas in our Church.

Kevin: I don’t care so much if a Christian openly admits to being gay or having homosexual attractions, whatever you want to call it. We’ve all done that! No big deal, right? But what kills me about this guy is that he left his wife and kids over this matter.

I have a wife and kids, and I have come damn close to leaving them in the past because of my raging SSA, my need to go find some guy who would fulfill me the way I wanted and make me feel good. But I held on. I rejected those urges. I took them to the cross.

I realized there were other issues at play under everything that were not so easy to identify at first, but which were fueling my cravings for men. Given enough time, humility, and the work of the Holy Spirit, I got through those dark nights.

My marriage was strengthened.

My kids still had a daddy coming home to them each night.

I was forgiven and purified and found a new layer of freedom — true freedom, not based on my feeling good about myself, but rather dying to my flesh at the cross, following Jesus, and living by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t see Trey here doing that. I see him divorcing his wife, causing hardship for his kids, and running away to go try to feel good about himself on his own terms.

Understandable, yes. I get it. I’ve felt like doing that many times myself. But I can’t justify it or applaud his actions. It’s all just too sad…

BradleyI guess we are the lucky ones. I mean, he struggled for decades by himself. What other conclusion would he have come to?

Corey: This (and the rest of our blogs, posts, in-person discussions, etc.) is an example of why each person’s story is so important and worth telling. God gives each person fragments of the truth like tiny puzzle pieces, and when we share our little truths, our stories, we can make better sense of ourselves, the world, and Him!!

Tom: True that, my brothers. I’m just blessed beyond words to know each and every one of you. To see God’s truth and His love and His goodness in all of our shattered yet beautiful fragments. I can’t pretend to know any of the inner workings of Trey Pearson’s heart, but I do know this: I’ve found you guys. And that has made all the difference.

How do you feel when Trey Pearson or anyone in pop culture comes out? Comfort in the sexual camaraderie, jealousy for the attention and praise, or sadness in the spiritual disconnect? Does the fact that Trey Pearson maintains his Christian faith factor into your emotions?

  • It is freeing to acknowledge facts. There’s a disconnect for me that church is more often a place where judgment trumps honesty while promoting Truth as its bedrock value. Jesus never asks us to make facts other than what they are. It’s good Trey can acknowledge his SSA without thinking that God hates him. I’m glad faith is still important to him. But there’s also a disconnect for me when one’s own personal truth is viewed the same as Truth. Jesus’ call isn’t just that we know him, but that we follow him. And the reason he gives for following him is that only by losing our life for his sake will we find life, that seeking to save our life means losing it. I hope Trey’s faith causes him to go on with Jesus. If he does, he may find that the freedom he’s found isn’t the freedom Jesus provides but only the freedom from a church culture that doesn’t treasure honesty. With regard to which society is better, I’m holding out for one in which honesty and Truth are both applauded and admired but not confused as the same.

    • So good brother. I couldn’t agree more. Life is found when we lays ours down. Broke my heart about Trey as an artist myself. There is a very very real deception and what’s more is that his coming out (and past others in Christianity) validates to the world the bogusness (in their minds) of the Truth of the gospel of grace – the supernatural ability to say “no” to sin and “yes” to God in our struggle. As has been said it’s the reason this place is so important. What’s happening is Psalm 2 before our very eyes. The nation(s) are raging God and his Son and saying “we don’t want your leadership. We don’t want the boundaries you set for us”. My prayer is for Trey and for his kids to not accept their dads actions as truth but to search out the Truth and come to know that. It seems that the reason many “come out” as gay Christians or whatever is because the have had lengthy dialogue with many people but very little with Jesus and if they HAVE talked to Jesus it was once and no quick response led to their own conclusions. It’s again sad. But for the grace o my God, there go I.

      • Hey Jaye, what’s crazy and sad about deception isn’t just that truth isn’t seen but that unrighteousness is celebrated. Somehow Jesus’ call to lose your life in this world to find life in him has become that by finding your self, you’ll know life. . . and I’m talking about in the church. A couple of posts ago, Tom spotted a quote by Kevin that went something like, The aim of the Christian life is loving others and escaping the spiraling, idolatrous circling of me. I can’t that out of my head and heart. There’s supposed to be reality we’ve found in Jesus that enables us to leave behind all those things that aren’t Jesus in us and go love God and others. We follow a suffering Jesus in this world, it’s not only ok that we struggle, but in becoming like him it’s unavoidable and can be welcomed.

        • I love that quote and perspective. It’s so dead on! Thank you for sharing that point. The way of Kingdom is upside down not right side up. And the attempt of the broken is to make sense of the brokenness and justify it so as to have our cake and eat it too. My prayer for all my brothers here and otherwise is that we will
          Never fall into that deception.

        • Kevin said it another way, but I’m glad you resonated with my tweaking of it, bluzhawk. Indeed, if we ever think this Christian journey is all about us, we are missing the point entirely.

        • Thanks Tom! It’s a unique place to stand in as a Christian artist dealing with SSA to watch others make this decision. It challenges me to really go hard after the truth so as to not fall into the deception of emotions myself. So thankful to have a place like YOB to share and process!

  • I appreciate you all opening this conversation up for us, and grateful in general for YOB. Though I have been immersed in Christian music the last 6 years (KLOVE, The Message), I am not familiar with this band – so no context there.
    How does it make me feel? Very sad for his young children, and sad for his wife. Angry that the bulk of society applauds his “decision to be his true self” versus criticizing his actions of breaking his marriage vows and giving up being a “dad” to his kids (which is the consequence of any father leaving his family). Perhaps I am biased, or too “old school” but I know all too well the pain and trauma of my father leaving my mother when I was 10 (after 23 years of marriage and 4 kids). Is that for any reason to be applauded?
    I most resonate with Kevin’s response. I formed a small private FB group for married Christian men with SSA about 4 years ago. This was an off-shoot of the Acountability Brothers group that I know some of you belonged. At the time I felt another group was needed to help keep marriages together (like mine). The AB group was (IMHO) going the political route of “gay is ok”. Our small group is still active but we’ve had quite a turnover in members over the years. I have made some awesome friendships there.
    However I do recall one member who joined. Younger guy, 2 small children, and he was contemplating leaving his family to pursue men. We were all gentle and supportive of his conflict, but discouraging of this direction. I sent him a private message stating the pain I suffered when my own father left. And encouraging him to be there for his kids.
    He later announced that he had decided to leave his wife and be “true to his identity”. He thanked us for being “with him”‘through this decision but also said that one guy actually tried to make him feel guilty about leaving his kids. Sigh. Are we to the point in our culture where marriage and parenthood mean so little that it is reduced to that???
    I have made many mistakes in my marriage. Probably the biggest mistake keeping my past and bisexuality secret from her from the beginning (my thinking back then was: it’s all years in the past – and what women would marry a guy if she knew all that??”
    I have hidden much from my wife. My addictions and emotional issues. I have been faced with so many challenges and disappointments, but some joy too. I could have “checked out” completely – one way or another. But I stuck it out – even feeling at times that even God was against me. Yet tomorrow our youngest graduates from high school. Our other child will graduate from college in the fall. I have ran the “race” keeping the family together through the childhood years and being (at the least) a financial provider. Maybe more? They are awesome kids – but both ultra liberal in their thinking and critical of our church – yes that’s the “norm” at that stage of life – but our daughter (18) has told us she is bisexual. Sigh. And I wonder how much my “passivity” as a father played into that…. Time will tell with her, and I am hopeful she will meet a “guy” that will show her what being a man is really about.
    So we enter a different stage – where perhaps I can be more open/authentic with my wife – and not fear the implosion of my family. Society and culture tells me to “be myself”, God and my own conscience (perhaps some link) tells me to stay true to my vows. Yet how can I be open and honest with my wife (who does EVERYTHING to discourage it), and not feel I am risking the destruction of our marriage? I am losing the “keep the marriage together for the

    • I second your gratefulness for this blog. Reading Trey’s article, found myself hoping/praying he’d find his way here.
      Hey Jim, good on you for staying faithful. . . for your wife, for your kids, for you. God’s gotten you this far, He’ll lead you thru the next stage.

    • Ah, the good ole Accountability Brothers group. Good times! But not really. It always felt so crowded in there, and several people always had some sort of agenda to push on both sides of the coin. I’m glad you formed that SSA Marrieds offshoot, Jim. Such a great idea. Sorry to hear about the one member and his decision. But glad you could be there to help nurture support for all the others. Good on you, Jim. Keep fighting the good fight. You’re supported here, too.

  • I think it shows that we truly live in a sled centered society. Have a wife and kids? To hell with them! Go live your true life and be yourself!

    • I’m sorry Brian. I take it you were saying “self centered society.” Yes, I agree and Trey’s choices, decisions, and actions are rather questionable under the celebration of his “coming out.” Is there another name for it? He is coming to a realization as to his sexual identity and we can commend him for that. This can be a facet of the Truth as eluded by bluzhawk’s comments. Bluzhawk, a person’s truth can possibly coincide with the greater Truth — not always, but at times.
      However, I’m old fashioned and this is inexcusable for any man as a husband or father to leave your wife and kids for a sinful lifestyle. Call me biased, but I’m thinking about the wife and especially the kids who could very well experience abandonment issues both now and in the near future. What are you hoping to gain at the expense of your family relationships!? For me, I’m on Team Kevin. Family and kids spell love: T-I-M-E.

      • “a person’s truth can possibly coincide with the greater Truth — not always, but at times.”
        Hey Eddie, I’m thinking it’s not only possible, it’s the point of things. . . that what’s true of Jesus is true of us, that in genuine ways we’re like him.
        I’m with you about the kids, even if his wife supports it, how can his 6 yr old and 2 yr old kids understand why daddy doesn’t live with them anymore? Is divorce ever good whenever kids are involved, unless there’s abuse?

  • Tom (and to the other brothers who post) – You men are amazing and so brutally honest! I look forward to every post!
    I have a different angle related to this post. For me, I tried to talk to my ex wife about my ssa. I wanted her to know my struggle (it was probably over 20 years into our marriage when I shared it with her). Not to say, “This is my real self, accept it”, but to just be vulnerable. But, her reaction was “Well, if that’s who you want to be with, then be with them.” That’s not what I wanted. I wanted to be with HER. I wanted US to have a close, fulfilling marriage. I wanted US to be best friends. I wanted to have awesome kick ass sex with HER. But she told me she wished I could be like one of our handsome Italian friends her friend was married to. (I wanted to be him too!) Then she told me my penis was the smallest of the men she had had sex with. What am I supposed to do with that?!? I went to programs like Living Waters and counseling and was very open and honest with trusted friends. But, our relationship just keep growing further and further apart. She didn’t want what I wanted. (That’s how I see it). So, in the summer of 2012, she told me she wanted a divorce. I know it’s not easy for women to hear this from their husbands. I had not acted out in my ssa (except for porn and mb). I’ve really struggled since then wondering what happened and why. I felt like God was a million miles away and not interested in helping my marriage. We are both Christians, how could this happen? That’s what I would think all the time. I struggled (and still do) with trusting God. I feel so insecure around Him. I don’t want to piss Him off. When things don’t go right, I just assume He’s mad at me. I know in my head that that’s not true but that’s what my heart believes.

    • You make a valid point Mark. My allegiance tends to lie with the one who wants to keep the marriage alive like you and not in favor of the spouse who is heading towards exit door.

    • Brutally honest is how we do around here. Glad you’re enjoying our blog so much, Mark. We share our stories for dear brothers like you. Thanks for being so bold to share your own with us. Sorry to hear of the pain of your divorce. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for you. Prayers for mighty redemption, Mark. Keep on.

  • This might be a totally unfounded generalization, but in my experience, many of the SSA or gay individuals I know in my life who are Christians have an affinity for music or the arts of some sort (instruments, writing, design, architecture, art). And that’s not to say they’re not athletic, as many of them/us are (I played sports in high school and college). But it makes me wonder, though, why? Why us?
    I believe there’s a unique opportunity we have to stir people’s emotions, helping others realize the beauty of God’s and His creation in various ways thru the arts, as art is known to help people “feel” by connecting with the piece. Maybe we have an undervalued ability to influence others? And when we allow ourselves to be shaped by the norms of the world instead of God’s truth, we can become conduits for deception that plays on people’s emotions in order to override Truth (Jeremiah 17). I think that is what is happening at an increasing pace, at least in American society.
    Could it result from decades of the church teaching behavior change instead of heart change? Behavior change is so heavily dependent on us, and only treats the symptom. Heart change is long lasting, completed and upheld by the infinite power of God. When we accept Christ, we as the church community should be spurring each individual towards Christ-likeness thru the power of the Holy Spirit (heart change), NOT thru sheer force of will (behavior change). I too heard the “God hates gays” messages growing up, but was fortunate enough to have a group of Christians who pointed out the lies on each side of the argument and spoke Truth to me: Christ loves me so much that he died for me, and because of His love he is calling me to follow him which will bring greater joy than “enjoying” the fulfillment of my earthly desires, and ultimately he is working to mold my desires to fall in line with his. (*disclaimer* This side of eternity they will never fully match up because of my inclination towards rebellion and sin, though.)
    The worry I have in all of this is that the Christian community is going to become even more polarized – those who are starkly in favor of conforming to this world – wanting to be on the “right side of history” – and those who are harshly against it (specifically concerning homosexuality) – wanting to be on the “right side of eternity”. This leaves those of us who struggle to pursue Christ instead of our desires even more isolated (which is exactly where the devil is most effective – when we are isolated).
    That said, I think God has led us all to this community to tackle some of the difficult conversations (regardless of which side we fall on) so in whatever we do we seek to honor Christ FIRST. That’s why I value this community so much, and why I think God has put us in a unique position to act as intermediaries between the two extremes. We understand the desires of both sides, and I hope God will empower us to have a unique voice that isn’t drowned out by the current seemingly adversarial nature of culture vs Scripture.
    Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to get those ideas out and see what you guys think?

    • No need to apologize for this post; it is great. As to your question, “Could it result from decades…?” I think you are absolutely right. I think I have mentioned before that I went for a decade and a half with behavior entirely under control: no acting out, no fantasies, no porn, etc. But my heart was never healed or changed. I was able to control the behavior on my own strength. That is what the churches of my youth taught and valued. Through denial and other human tactics I kept this sin at bay while other sins like self-hatred, self-pitying, anger, etc where gaining ground. Christ then invited me to move toward healing and deliverance by first acknowledging the problem and honoring Him as the only true deliverer.
      I think you are also correct about our unique opportunity to stir people’s emotions through the arts.

    • Jackson, first time I’ve seen your name/post, hope you feel welcome here brother. I’m relatively new here but yours is the first comment or post I remember reading here about church. I think all the churches I’ve been at for any length of time that taught behavior using Christianity only taught me to be a hypocrite. The best thing about church is when someone points to Jesus. It’s when I started following Jesus that I found my behavior changed, and it was almost in spite of being at church. I know they’re not opposed and I shouldn’t think of them that way. I’ve got this huge knot called church I can’t seem to untangle that screws with my heart, but I digress. You may be right about being intermediaries but my own sense is that the two sides view us as a third extreme but for completely different reasons.
      Good post Jackson. As to your generalization, for what it’s worth, architect here.

  • Corey, you describe being between a rock and a hard place, which is exactly where I am right now. In the past, it was just plain rejection from the church. Now that I am “out” I am bombarded by people in the church who think I’m betraying myself by remaining celibate. Even my own family is encouraging me to find a boyfriend, get married and adopt a child. I don’t feel like I have much support in the middle, and for those who do support my celibacy, they don’t really want to talk about it. I meet with my pastor in public and whenever he mentions or I bring up my homosexuality, he leans in close and whispers, while using “code” language. He is affiliated with an ex-gay ministry and I expect he would be less, um, embarrassed for me. This makes me very mad to be honest.
    Sam, I understand about the fear of marriage, or a possible breakup. I am also glad to hear that Kevin has had doubts and that makes me feel better about getting married. I want to struggle with my wife, not against her. I knew a guy in college, I considered him my best friend even though he didn’t. His father was SSA and outed in front of his whole church he was pastoring when they found a letter he put in his desk (which they ransacked to find evidence of what they suspected). I got to know this man and he and his wife talked about their marriage. It was a lovely broken marriage, not unlike any other marriage that fought to survive. The never stopped being best friends though or being honest. She knew he was SSA from their second date and she knew what she was getting herself into. If you have that going in, what could be so bad you can’t get through it?
    P.K. I love your insights; so profound! Yes, I see where individualism is a problem. Identity is important, but not everything. I have my identity in Christ, in my relationships and with myself. I am a whole person in my world with all three and I think we miss that today in our Western culture. Making peace with my SSA attractions has made life so much easier for me. While I AM SSA, I am not gay. I don’t think most people, especially Christians understand that distinction. No, I don’t expect God to change me, although I ask Him to from time to time. He didn’t make me this way, but I am none-the-less. I don’t understand all of the complexities of how sin messed everything up, but it did. My connection to others and to God though is what helps me understand who and where I am. Thanks for bringing that up.

  • I’m not a fan of “Rock” music, nor do I believe “Christian Rock” is of or influenced by the Holy Spirit. I strongly believe it is of the flesh and worldly.
    A man John Todd, spoke at Christian churches how and why Christian Rock came about, and who financially backed that industry up, and who was involved. John Todd was saved, and was heavily involved with the Illuminati before the Lord saved him.
    He tells all here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6bW0p7US-g
    We must ask the question was Trey Pearson truly born-again?
    I know before the Lord saved me, I thought I was a Christian, had years of Baptist background, said the sinner’s prayer, read the bible, choir, baptized at 12 yrs. And I was Gay.
    But I was deceived, I was not saved, but religious…….then many years later the Lord truly revealed the truth, Gay is a lie, then I became Born-again.
    We as believers can not be one with the world and copy worldly ways, making a Christian culture resembling the World. That is not what the Gospel of Christ is, nor what true Christianity represents.

  • YOB

    We are Your Other Brothers: a storytelling tribe navigating issues of faith, homosexuality, and masculinity. Together.

    See All Posts
    >