A noted Christian children’s writer has used social media to announce that he is in fact gay and as a result, will be divorcing from his wife.
Matthew Paul Turner, the former editor of CCM magazine and the author of several books, including the Christian pop culture tour-de-force, The Christian Culture Survival Guide, has come out.
“I have difficult news to share,” he said in a post on Instagram. “After much thought, prayer, and counseling, Jessica and I have made the decision to end our marriage. While we’re best friends and thoroughly love doing life, parenting, and pursuing our dreams together, ending our marriage is necessary because I am gay.
“Being gay isn’t a new discovery for me. However, as someone who spent 30+ years in fundamentalist/evangelical churches, exploring God through conservative theologies, I lived many days overwhelmed by fear, shame, and self-hatred. Though my own faith evolved long ago to become LGBTQ+ affirming, my journey toward recognizing, accepting and embracing myself took much longer.
“But for the first time in my life, despite the sadness and grief I’m feeling right now, I can say with confidence that I’m ready to embrace freedom, hope, and God as a gay man.”
His wife, Jessica Turner, stated in a social media post, “How do you write the most vulnerable, hardest post you’ve written in 14 years of being online?
“My husband, my best friend has bravely shared his deepest truth this past year. He is gay. While this doesn’t change how much we love him, it does change our relationship. We are moving forward with ending our marriage, while remaining deeply committed to our family and each other.
“We have worked for more than a year on trying to make our marriage work, even in light of Matthew’s truth, but it wasn’t healthy or fair to us or our children. We feel confident that this is the next right step for each of us and our family.
“Our three incredible children have taken the news remarkably well. We are all adjusting to a new normal, with our home now extended under two rooftops. I am so grateful for the way we love each other and the deep belief that God is with us. We are both grieving the loss of what we had and taking hope in what is to come.”
Meanwhile, Matthew will continue to write children’s books, stating he is “grateful for the support of my publisher Convergent Books. Writing books about wholeness, hope, and God’s love for children is an honor and privilege I do not take for granted.
“That said, we ask that you be kind and respectful toward us. Anyone who posts comments laced in shame, criticism of our family, our theology, or our choices will be blocked.”
Image courtesy Instagram