COLLEYVILLE, Texas (NewsNation Now) — Devin Bryant, a Dallas-area senior who was expelled from his private Christian academy for being gay is speaking out about the experience.
For the 18-year-old senior in Colleyville, Texas, talking about his newly proclaimed identity is still a fresh and delicate topic.
“I came out on my birthday, so it was October 2nd, and my reasoning behind it was to give myself the best birthday gift I could think of,” said Bryant.
A lengthy letter on Instagram last year outlining all the parts of himself he had held hidden for so long. His first memories of being gay coming through at just 7-or 8-years-old.
But it wasn’t until his final year at Covenant Christian Academy — which he’s attended since kindergarten — when seniors get to design their own parking spots that his sexual orientation landed on the administration’s radar. His artistic submission: a collage of different descriptors.
“It said gay as in happy, and then it said some other adjectives,” he said.
And a second gay, representing his homosexuality. His mother Connie said she eventually received a call from the headmaster informing her that due to her son’s “evil path,” he was being expelled.
“I asked him if he’s a Christian, that he cannot do that. And he told me that he’s doing what Jesus would do,” said Connie.
In a letter addressing Devin’s expulsion from the headmaster to parents, Dr. Tony Jeffrey called it one of the hardest decisions he’s made in his 35-year career, but that all families sign an academy contract.
Part of it reads:
“That includes adhering to the biblical principle that the expression of human sexuality is appropriate only within the boundaries of a marital relationship between one man and one woman. Prohibited moral misconduct includes maintaining a lifestyle not consistent with applicable biblical standards. The enrollment contract specifically states that homosexuality is contrary to the fundamental religious tenets of CCA.”
“Normally what happens when your child comes out, there is fear,” said Connie. “Fear of the unknown because people are going to judge, and people are going to criticize them and people are going to hurt them. So when a place that he calls home — like a school that he’s gone to from kindergarten — becomes the first to reject him, you even have more fear of what the world is going to do to them.”
On his final day at Covenant Christian Academy, Devin held a 4.46 GPA. He had received numerous awards from his time on the cross-country, basketball and speech teams. A hand-painted sign in his bedroom declaring “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Keeping those words alive is tough for a teen in the face of rejection.
“It kind of sucks whenever somebody is thrown out of the church like that,” he said.
Devin said he is sharing his story in hopes of reaching other kids who are living in the shadows, adding that in truth, there lives both fear and freedom.
Covenant Christian Academy declined a request for a sit-down interview with NewsNation.
Devin is now enrolled in a different school, not regretting for speaking his truth and says he wishes no ill will upon the school.
When we asked his mother if the family planned to take legal action, she simply said that they will hold the academy accountable.