T.J. Osborne Of Brothers Osborne Comes Out As Gay

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T.J. Osborne, one-half of country duo Brothers Osborne, has come out publicly as gay.

In an interview with TIME published on Wednesday, the 36-year-old singer said he has been openly gay with family and friends for many years.

“I want to get to the height of my career being completely who I am,” he said. “I mean, I am who I am, but I’ve kept a part of me muted, and it’s been stifling.

“Ultimately it’s a very small detail about me.”

Osborne acknowledged that some people will wonder why his sexuality even matters to others. “Personally, I agree with that,” he said. “But for me to show up at an awards show with a man would be jaw-dropping to people. It wouldn't be like, ‘Oh, cool!’”

Osborne said he is not worried about the reactions of country music fans. “Maybe I’m not giving my fans enough credit,” he said. “Maybe I’m not giving the genre enough credit.”

Country music has only a handful of openly gay artists – Brandi Carlile, Orville Peck, Chely Wright, Billy Gilman, Steve Grand and Ty Herndon. One of the genre’s most successful songwriters, Shane McAnally, is also gay. Rapper Lil Nas X also had success in the country market with “Old Town Road.”

Artists like Kacey Musgraves and Tanya Tucker have praised their gay fans and supported LGBT causes.

Brothers Osborne have released four studio albums, including last October's Skeletons. The duo has collected four CMA Awards and a pair of ACM Awards as well as three Grammy nominations.

Osborne’s brother and musical partner John said he fully supports T.J.’s decision to be his authentic self in public. (John's Instagram profile read "Proud of you, T.J." on Wednesday). “If I had to have all my money and success erased for my brother to be truly fulfilled in life,” he said, “I wouldn’t even think about it. Not for a second.”

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