There seems to be a new kind of “coming out of the closet” occurring at the intersection of faith and sexuality. One in which renowned Christian authors and musicians are moving beyond public support of revisionist sexual ethics and themselves professing an openly gay lifestyle. Something novel to mainstream contemporary Christian culture.
Several Christian celebrities and their recent declarations as members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community sent shockwaves adding to the theological dissentions surrounding traditional Christian teaching. Even as the Church navigates delicate conversations around sexual orientation and gender identity, these celebrities’ wide influence could perpetuate misconceptions and confusion among Christians, especially many within the millennial generation, who wish to “reconcile” same-sex relationships and Scripture.
Below are brief biographies of five Christian celebrities who have come out as practicing gay lifestyles.
Glennon Doyle Melton
Popular Christian author and “Momastery” blogger Glennon Doyle Melton (pictured above) saw her 2016 memoir rise to the #1 New York Times Bestseller spot and was featured as an Oprah’s Bookclub selection. The book focused on Melton’s marriage in the wake of her husband’s infidelity and moving forward. Sadly, her marriage was not redeemed.
On November 13, 2016 Melton announced in a Facebook post that she was dating retired U.S. female soccer star Abby Wambach. Just three months later, Melton announced again on Facebook her engagement to Wambach. “Abby and I have decided to hold hands forever. Love Wins,” Melton posted.
Although Melton is a member of the notoriously liberal and declining United Church of Christ, her blog and bestselling book influence a considerably broad audience. According to her official website, Melton’s blog is “reaching millions of people each week.”
The Christian rock band Everyday Sunday composed popular Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) songs like popular “Wake up! Wake up!” and their bubbly melodies were hard to escape during the late 2000s. But last spring the band’s lead vocalist Trey Pearson sent shockwaves after declaring he is gay in an open letter fans.
In 2008, Pearson married his wife, Lauren, with whom he has two children. But Pearson claimed in his letter that his marriage was masking who he truly was. “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,” he wrote.
“There is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus,” Pearson told Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt. “God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated and my truest self.”
Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) star and worship songwriter Vicky Beeching’s lyrics to “Glory to God Forever” are sung by millions of Christians in the United States, where she lived for nearly a decade writing and recording worship music. In August 2014, Beeching, then 35 years old, came out as gay during an interview with The Independent, a British newspaper.