Trey Pearson, former CCM artist, celebrates LGBTQ freedom in new album


(RNS) — When previous Christian rocker Trey Pearson arrived out as gay in 2016, he decided currently being entirely himself was truly worth jeopardizing his 15-year new music vocation with the band Day-to-day Sunday. 6 many years later on, Pearson states his most current solo album, “Somebody You Knew,” is some of his best and most genuine songs to date.

Unveiled on Friday (July 1), Pearson’s eight-tune album has previously gained traction in the alternative music scene — this weekend, it was No. 21 on the iTunes Option chart. A rerelease of his tune “Hey Jesus,” about the painful course of action of coming out, is also incorporated on the album and functions queer Christian artist Semler. The duo’s new edition was promoted on Spotify’s New Music Friday Christian playlist.

“To get to subversively be in that place feels so redeeming and so wonderful,” Pearson advised Faith News Services.

Pearson was just out of his freshman yr of university when he signed on with a Christian history label. Each day Sunday would go on to have an album on the Billboard 200, as very well as the most-performed Christian rock music of 2007. Pearson married a woman and had two young children. But, immediately after approximately 8 yrs of marriage, he shared in a community letter that he and his wife would transition from relationship to friendship and co-parenting. Now, at 41, he is in a pleased partnership with his boyfriend of about two a long time.

His initially complete album considering the fact that 2017, “Somebody You Knew” is a rebirth of sorts for Pearson. It captures equally the heartache of dropping a neighborhood that promised unconditional adore and the transcendent pleasure of true belonging. RNS spoke with Pearson about his departure from the modern day Christian tunes environment, reconnecting with his mother just after she was hurt in a tragic car accident that killed his father, and the tales behind his most recent tunes.

This job interview has been edited for size and clarity.

What was the inspiration for the new album?

An album release party poster for Trey Pearson's album "Somebody You Knew." Courtesy image

An album launch bash poster for Trey Pearson’s album “Somebody You Realized.” Artwork by Luke Staten

When I came out in 2016, I’d absent my total daily life trying to be something I could not. There was this large part of my daily life I just stored striving to thrust down. When I at last recognized myself, a little something came to the floor and burst out. These last handful of years I was at last encountering everyday living in a new, genuine way. I have been writing about people activities with a large amount of pleasure and hope, but also heartache. I have lost a large amount of individuals in my lifestyle. As I was placing the album collectively, I realized it has this journey from heartbreak to hope. 

Some songs sound like they could be about each a human marriage, and about a partnership with God or the church. Is that intentional?

“Can’t Go Back” is about my relationship with evangelical church persons, men and women who informed me they continue to cherished me, but then the mobile phone stopped ringing. They didn’t want to be in my daily life anymore. They didn’t essentially love me in a way that was true and energetic.

I unquestionably consider that all the things is religious. I wrote the track “Piedmont Park” for my boyfriend that I have been with now for in excess of two many years. He’s a big part of my lifestyle and my kids’ lives. He’s from Georgia, and when we started courting, we’d go to Piedmont Park in downtown Atlanta. To me that song is about this adore I under no circumstances assumed I’d get to expertise. It is a very non secular point as effectively.

Can you communicate about the song “Broken Heart”? Who was that penned for?

“Broken Heart” I experienced prepared for my moms and dads, about yearning for them to be in my daily life and recognizing that they chose not to be in the decades considering the fact that I’ve occur out. They chose their religious beliefs around getting in my lifestyle and it was devastating. The 7 days right after I acquired the ultimate combine again for that music, my dad and mom have been in a motor vehicle crash. My father handed absent and my mother was really hurt. All of a sudden, right after my mom was not really in my life for six several years, I’m sleeping on the floor of the hospital with her at night as she’s in the ICU striving to survive.

She’s genuinely creating an exertion now to be in my life, my boyfriend’s daily life and my kids’ lives. And it is something we both have talked about, how it is so unfortunate that it took that tragedy of getting rid of my dad for her to understand that they were accomplishing it incorrect by considering God would want them to not be in my life. But my album release celebration is at the Columbus Museum of Artwork tomorrow evening and she asked if she could come. This will be her first time looking at me conduct due to the fact I have occur out of the closet.

“Hey Jesus” was also on your 2017 album “Love Is Like.” Why rerecord it for your new album?

I was sitting down in my dwelling area with a guitar in 2016 just after coming out. I had all these thoughts of grieving the loss of my loved ones and my church household. Grieving that I had been brainwashed to consider I would be an abomination in God’s eyes. I experienced been married to a girl and had two kids. My full identification was wrapped up in currently being a specified thing. Then to eventually have my daily life slide apart and to deal with this big portion of myself I’d by no means confronted, composing that music was me grieving almost everything I experienced felt my total everyday living increasing up. I wrote it in less than 50 % an hour.

Similar: CCM field stays silent on LGBTQ inclusion as queer artists carve inroads

Right after I set the music out, it is been awesome. There is no marketing guiding it, it just slowly grew and it is now turn out to be personal to individuals that message me each working day from all over the earth. It was highlighted in PBS’ initial LGBTQ specific that came out in June for Pride Thirty day period. Performing it with Semler felt like a way to place it out yet again. This doesn’t just belong to me any more. This track belongs to each individual LGBTQ child that has grown up remaining taught there’s something broken about them.

Artist Trey Pearson hugs a man in a final scene from the music video of his new single, “Silver Horizon.” Screenshot from YouTube

Artist Trey Pearson hugs a man in a final scene from the songs video of his one “Silver Horizon.” Video monitor seize

What does it suggest to you to have that song on a Christian Spotify playlist?

The gatekeepers employed to reject artists like me immediately after coming out, or Jennifer Knapp when she came out 6 years right before I did. There are however so a lot of closeted LGBTQ artists in Christian audio. So it is fascinating that now, me as an brazenly gay man and Semler as an brazenly queer artist, have this music collectively on a person of the major Christian playlists in the world. With any luck ,, people today who need to hear individuals text will come across that song, whether or not it’s an LGBTQ man or woman or their guardian, sibling or close friend. This music is effortlessly 1 of the most meaningful music I have ever prepared. To get to be subversively in this area feels so redeeming and so wonderful.

It is been 6 yrs since you arrived out to your supporters. Do you at any time regret coming out publicly?

I really do not regret coming out publicly at all. I just cannot imagine it took me that extended to lastly experience liberty, joy and peace. I had 3 massive motivations. I required to tell my tale on my own phrases, and I wanted to do it in a way that could hopefully aid other people. I know LGBTQ artists in Christian music, and if they had come out when I was a kid, I know how a great deal that could have improved my daily life. And third, for my young children. When I arrived out, my daughter was 6 and my son was 2. I want my children to develop up in a globe exactly where they’re not fearful of staying themselves. So I’m continue to quite grateful that I did it for all three of those people good reasons.

Artist Trey Pearson. Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard

Artist Trey Pearson. Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard

Can you talk about what it’s been like composing and releasing music without a report label?

Report labels have the marketing money and electricity to endorse you to radio stations, big streaming platforms and on YouTube and Facebook advertisements. I have not had any of that. But I really feel like I’ve been composing the very best, most genuine songs of my lifetime because I’ve arrive out. That is these kinds of a wonderful emotion as an artist to be this considerably in my everyday living and my profession and to be making the most significant audio I’ve ever created. And even with no label, internet marketing crew, supervisor or reserving agent behind me, I’m observing my audio continue on to blossom and mature and seeing additional and far more men and women obtain it.

Your album appears to expose a sophisticated romantic relationship with religion and with the church. What does that partnership seem like nowadays?

The older I’ve gotten, the far more peace I have designed with recognizing there are a lot of things you simply cannot know for positive. The most damaging points in my lifetime have been the factors folks pretend to know that you just cannot. That is why I chat so substantially about fundamentalism, due to the fact to me it’s possessing to be proper about one thing you just can’t potentially know for confident. To me that’s the most poisonous variety of spirituality.

One particular of the greatest points religion gave me as a kid was hope. I want to give that hope to my youngsters, and I never thoughts calling that hope God. Even in these final couple months soon after losing my dad, it’s that hope that allows me approach that. I did not get to have that closure with my father. And I really do not know what transpires soon after death, none of us do. But I like to assume, someway, he is with me. That he understands now. Even even though he couldn’t be right here with me, or component of my life with my boyfriend and my kids, that he gets to be now.

Associated: Trey Pearson releases first music video clip because coming out as a gay Christian rock star


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