After decades of secrecy, country music star Ty Herndon revealed on Thursday that he is gay. Furthermore, he has been in a relationship with a man for five years. “I have an awesome relationship that I’ve been in for a good number of years,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “[I] love him very much and he loves me.”
“I’ve dreamed about being in country music since I was 6 years old,” Herndon said in the shocking interview. “It’s my life, it’s what I do, it’s who I am, and I went to great lengths to cover up that fact to be a country star.” The 52-year-old was referring to the fact that he has two ex-wives who were both aware of his sexuality.
Herndon’s coming out has inspired another young country music star to do the same. 26-year-old Billy Gilman released a video for his fans, coming clean about his sexuality and revealing that he has been in a relationship with a man for five months. “A fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video … and I wanted my fans who have stuck by me for many, many years to know,” Gilman said.
“It’s difficult for me to make this video, not because I’m ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist, or a gay person,” he added. “But it’s pretty silly to know that I’m ashamed of doing this knowing that, because I’m in a genre, in an industry that is ashamed of me for being me.” Gilman believes his sexuality has been a barrier in getting his new music picked up by major record labels.
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The country music industry has largely opened up to the LGBT community, with several high-profile singers voicing their support for gay rights. It remains to be seen whether these admissions from Herndon and Gilman will have a negative affect on their careers. Let us know how you feel about gay singers in the country music industry in the comments section.
H/T: The Blaze