RNS Trey Pearson comes out in a letter (at the end of the piece)
Nearly eight years ago, Pearson married a woman in hopes of achieving the kind of straight dream-life his community would support. Though he and his wife had two children, his hopes never materialized and Pearson 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 me. “But then I realized the only way I was ever going to be my best for them was to be healthy myself.”
As Pearson started accepting his sexual orientation, he sought guidance from other Christian leaders. The first person he told was pastor Jonathan Martin, author of “How to Survive a Shipwreck,” who helped him connect with a counselor. His mentor and friend Rob Bell, former pastor and author of “How to Be Here,” also helped him process.
What does it mean to come out of the closet as a married father of young children? For me in 2006, it meant three days and nights in which I didn’t sleep or eat. It meant an ex-wife who screamed “faggot” in restaurants and on the driveway in front of our children: “faggot, faggot, faggot,” as though the sound itself were a knife and my ears, a chopping block.
It meant Dallas, Texas courtrooms in which I was told I was unfit to be a parent. It meant our family obstetrician-gynecologist, who I’d known for a decade and whose children I had taught in my middle school English classroom, submitting a deposition to the court saying that, in his professional opinion, I shouldn’t be allowed unmonitored access to my children. It meant, ultimately, my parents disowning and disinheriting me – a fact that hasn’t changed in the following 10 years.