Not one, but two country music singers publicly revealed they were gay on Thursday, marking a significant event in the country music world.
First Ty Herndon, the 52-year-old singer of hit singles in the ’90s such as “I Want My Goodbye Back” and “Loved Too Much”, told People, “I’m an out, proud and happy gay man.” Herndon also said that he’d been out to family and friends for some time and that his ex-wives — he’s been married twice before — knew of his sexuality.
Following Herndon’s announcement, 26-year-old Billy Gilman, whose song “One Voice” was released when he was only 11 years-old, felt emboldened to make his own announcement, this time on YouTube.
In the video, Gilman reveals that he’s in a relationship and that he wanted to come out on his own terms, after he and his partner were photographed by a reporter.
The news marks a momentous occasion for the country music industry, which both artists suggested had an intolerant outlook. In his video, Gilman reveals, “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 I’m in a genre and an industry that’s ashamed of me for being me.”