The list of outed gay country singers keeps rising. Just hours after Ty Herndon announced he’s gay on Thursday (Nov 20th), fellow country singer Billy Gilman has also come out as gay.
The singer, best known for his 2000 hit “One Voice” at 11 years old, made the announcement via video through his Facebook page and cites Herndon’s coming out as inspiration to make his own sexuality public.
“It’s taken me a good many weeks to figure out how I was to approach this video that you’re watching right now,” Gilman states, “but today, actually, 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 explains that he also made the decision to come out due to a recent picture that was taken by a reporter of him and his boyfriend of five months.
“It was in that moment that I knew that I’d rather it be from me than you reading it somewhere else and probably filled with not truth,” he says. “Going back and forth on how I was to approach this and I thought, ‘Rather than do it on some talk show, I would do it just in front of a simple camera — very personal.”
“It was in that moment that I knew that I’d rather it be from me than you reading it somewhere else and probably filled with not truth.”
Gilman states that he’s come to terms with being gay, but the country music community, mostly conservative, needs to embrace LGBT artists more.
“In recent years, when I did come back to Nashville, there were rumors and whispers…Is he or isn’t he?” he claims. “And for many that know Nashville, being a gay male country artist is not the best thing. If people don’t like your music that’s one thing, but after having sold over five million records — having a wonderful life in the music industry — I knew something was wrong when no major label wanted to sit down and have a meeting and listen to the new stuff.”
Gilman explains that no major labels showed up at any of his Nashville showcases in recent years and it’s hard for him as an artist.
“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 adds, “but it’s pretty silly to know that I’m ashamed of doing this knowing that because I’m in a genre and in an industry that is ashamed of me for being me.”
However, he did name some major stars who have been supportive of him.
“I want to say that literally all of the country artists that I grew up in front of — Keith Urban and Vince [Gill] and LeAnn Rimes and all of these wonderful friends of mine — have been nothing but supportive,” he continues. “Not that they knew, but they have just been such wonderful people, and now recently Ty Herndon, who I’ve known and been a fan of and congratulations on such a courageous effort.
“I’ve been an advocate for so many things in my life that I thought why not now be an advocate for me and for the cause I believe in [with] my whole heart?” he says.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.