Country star TJ Osborne, the lead singer of The Brothers Osborne, came out as gay for the first time in a recent Time magazine interview, and talked about what it means as a player in the traditionally conservative country music industry.
‘I’m very comfortable being gay,’ he said, adding that his inner circle has known for a long time, but quarantine unearthed his desire to be fully out.
‘I’m ready to put this behind me…I find myself being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don’t have a problem with. That feels so strange,’ he said.
He said he experienced his first heartbreak in his early twenties but couldn’t tell anyone.
‘I was mad that no one knew why I was hurting.’
TJ opened up to his brother and bandmate John Osborne about it a few years later, as John recalled:
‘He was very open and candid about it, and I was emotional, because my brother was finally able to be completely honest with me about who he was.’
The Daily Mail notes that though the response to the video was overwhelmingly positive, some people were quick to call them ‘F****t lovers,’ which made coming out even more distressing.
To this point, he maintains that he is still moderately concerned about his reception in the country genre which is historically rooted in conservatism and family values.
‘I don’t think I’m going to get run off the stage in Chicago…but in a rural town playing a county fair? I’m curious how this will go.’
The pandemic, he says, afforded him a lot of introspective time where he finally made the decision to be his authentic self.
‘I want to get to the height of my career being completely who I am…I mean, I am who I am, but I’ve kept a part of me muted, and it’s been stifling,’ he revealed.
‘I want to put the coming out behind me. Because ultimately it’s a very small detail about me,’ he said, adding ‘There are times when I think I’ve marginalized this part of me so that I feel better about it. And I realize that it is a big part of who I am: The way I think, the way I act, the way I perform.’
He continued to take to Instagram on Wednesday to address his interview as he said:
‘I’m very proud to put this out there…the person you know is me, and now you just know more about me, and I think that’s so important in so many ways. I know that it’s gonna help my relationship with my fans and my family…and ultimately myself.’
He referred to speaking his truth as something he always thought was ‘too mountainous to tell,’ before saying, ‘Now that it’s been told I am at a loss for words as to how clear the path was all along.’
The Brothers Osborne have received seven Grammy nominations, won four CMA Awards and have had seven of their songs become Top 40 hits including “Stay A Little Longer,” which “features gay interracial couples in the video.”