Tags: billy gilman | comes | out | gay | country

Billy Gilman Comes Out as Gay on Same Day as Fellow Country Star

Image: Billy Gilman Comes Out as Gay on Same Day as Fellow Country Star
(Ed Rode/AP Photo, file)

By    |   Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 07:45 PM

Billy Gilman came out as gay Thursday, just hours after fellow country singer Ty Herndon made the same announcement.

In an open, personal YouTube video, Gilman said that hearing Herndon’s announcement made it easier for him to make the same statement.

He was honest about the challenge of being a gay artist in the country music industry.

“In recent years, when I did come back to Nashville, there were rumors and whispers ‘is he or isn’t he?’” Gilman told his fans in the video. “For many that know Nashville and how much I love the industry, but how many know 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 5 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.”

No major label showed up for a Nashville showcase of his work, Gilman said.

Gilman has been on the country music scene since he was 11 years old and hit the Top 20 with “One Voice.”

In July, Gilman released a new song on iTunes, “Say You Will,” and has said in the past that he plans to start his own record label.

Gilman said on his video that he’d been toying with how to make the announcement, especially since he’s been in a five-month relationship, when a reporter stumbled across him and his partner together.

“This reporter took a picture of us, and 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 truths,” he said.

“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 a genre and an industry that is ashamed of me for being me,” Gilman said.



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Billy Gilman came out as gay Thursday, just hours after fellow country singer Ty Herndon made the same announcement. Though Gilman has been singing for years, he's perhaps best known as the 11-year-old kid who broke onto the country music scene in 2000 with "One Voice."
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