Country star Ty Herndon has publicly come out as gay. He told People that he was proud of it, and it was time to share his secret. It shows a move in the country scene, where people are being accepted as equals regarding their sexuality.
The decision almost mimics a storyline on Nashville. Will Lexington, played by Chris Carmack, is struggling to cope with his own sexuality. He married country singer Layla Grant to hide the fact that he is gay, but his secret is slowly coming out. Will fears that the country scene will turn its back on him and possibly even kill him if he tells the truth.
It is highly likely that Herndon was struggling with the same issues. In fact, the What Mattered Most singer knew he was gay from being a child. He started sharing his secret when he was in his 20s, but mainly kept it with trusted family members. During the 1990s, he focused on his music career, and it has only been now that the 52-year-old decided it was time to tell the truth.
One thing that spurred him was the idea of others going through similar situations. He wanted to help someone else’s child or grandchild make the decision to share their secret. It is not worth dealing with suffering and pain because of it.
There are certainly signs that the country music scene is changing. This also helped encourage Herndon to come out as gay, and state just how proud he is of it. Kacey Musgraves’ Follow Your Arrow is all about open-mindedness and acceptance, and was the Country Music Award’s single of the year.
Chely Wright took the plunge in 2010. The country scene has not attacked, especially considering she was the first country singer to come out as gay. There is hope that this trend will continue. Herndon says that he is praying that it does.
How will it change Herndon’s life now? He does not think it will. He says he has been with his current partner for six years now, and does not expect that to change. Living life happily is important to him, and being true to himself. That is what he can do now.
During the interview with the magazine, he explained that he believed he was gay when he was just 10 years old. He remembers being in church and “horrified” at the idea that he was gay. He did not really grasp the idea of what it really meant back there, but knew deep down that it probably was his identity. There are many children who go through the same revelations that he did, and he just wants to make it easier for them.
Many celebrities have done something similar. British diver Tom Daley and actress Ellen Page have both recently shared their sexuality in public, partially as a way to encourage others to be true to themselves.
The country singer also says that he is making up for “mistakes” from the past. He has hurt a lot of people, and coming out as gay is a way for Herndon to work on being forgiven for them.
By Alexandria Ingham