The lead singer of  Christian rock group, Everyday Sunday has spoken directly to his fans in a heartfelt letter. Trey Pearson revealed that coming out has lifted a weight and that he’s never felt such freedom.

In the letter, published in Ohio-based  (614) Magazine, he wrote that his wife has been a “supportive, understanding, loving and gracious person” in light of the news, and that the pair wish to co-parent while remaining friends.

He said that he hoped his fans “would hear his heart” and that he would still be loved. He’s enjoyed a highly successful career, having sold hundreds of thousands of albums, one of which reached the Billboard top 200.

“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.”

Pearson was raised in a conservative Christian home where he was taught that sexual orientation was a matter of choice. He knew from an early age that he was attracted to other males but attempted to suppress his feelings and “be straight.”

“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.

“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.”

And while Pearson maintains strong faith, he’s aware that his letter could end the success he’s enjoyed. A growing movement of popular Christian musicians have come out as gay and are advocating for a more open and accepting stance in the church.

Ray Boltz, Anthony Williams, Jennifer Knapp and Vicky Beeching among them — have seen large numbers of their audiences shift away as a result.

Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service says “these musicians paid a hefty price. Since Christian music fans tend to be conservative and believe that homosexual acts are sinful, you won’t hear these artists’ music played in most churches or on Christian radio these days.” Pearson hopes that his fans will stick with him, and that he can be a role model for other gay Christians, especially those, like him, raised in “a very conservative Christian home.”

While some of Pearson’s fans may reject his music after reading his letter, the response he received on social media Wednesday seemed overwhelmingly supportive.

Vicky Beeching was one one the first to offer her support tweeting: “So impressed by the courage of American Christian musician @treypearson as he takes the brave step to come out.”

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Others soon followed:

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