Friday, November 21, 2014

Country Singers Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman Come Out

Billy Gilman - Instagram

Two country music stars, Ty Herndon (pictured below) and Billy Gilman (pictured above), have come out of the closet and announced to the world that they are gay.   Both seem motivated by a desire to make a difference for younger LGBT individuals and exhaustion at living in the closet.  Both have been with their respective partners for over 5 years.  Life in the closet even if just professionally is exhausting and leaves one with constant paranoia.  Kudos to both of these gentlemen for deciding to live authentically and honestly.  First this from CNN on Ty Herndon:
Country star Ty Herndon has something to share: He's an "out, proud and happy gay man."
Herndon, 52, came out publicly as gay in an interview with People magazine.

He says he's known he was gay since he was a child and started coming out to family members in his 20s. But the "What Mattered Most" singer, who had a number of hits in the 1990s, kept the news close to the vest.

It wasn't until he attended a Tony Robbins seminar in 2009 that he decided to become more public, he told the magazine.

"I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone's son or daughter or grandchild's life not be as difficult as mine has been," he said. "Maybe they wouldn't have to go through as much pain and suffering. It's time to tell my truth."

The country music world hasn't always been the friendliest to LGBTQ people, but Herndon sees signs that's changing. Singer Chely Wright came out in 2010 and the open-minded Kacey Musgraves has a song titled "Follow Your Arrow" that was just named CMA song of the year.
 As for Gilman, here are highlights from Towleroad:
Billy Gilman, who at the age of 12 became the youngest singer to land a Top 40 hit on the country music charts with 2000's "One Voice," has come out as gay in a video message posted online today. 

In the video, Gilman shares that country singer Ty Herndon's coming out earlier today makes it easier for him to open up, but that he is still concerned about how the country music industry will react. 

You know, 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. But it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this knowing that because I'm in an genre and industry that is ashamed of me for being me. That said, I want to say that all of the country artists that literally I grew up with - Keith Urban, Vince, LeAnn Rimes and all of these wonderful friends of mine have been nothing but supportive. Not that they knew but they've just been such wonderful people.  

Gilman also reveals that he's been with his partner for five months.

Ty Herndon

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