After Brothers Osborne singer-guitarist T.J. Osborne publicly came out as gay in a Time magazine article on Wednesday, he appeared on Ellen to talk about the process of revealing himself to the world and why he chose to come out now.
“Even though I was coming out, it still felt really odd to say it then,” Osborne said, referring to the Time interview as well as a short Instagram announcement video he made. “I think that’s the beautiful thing about this for me: I’ve never really come out to very many people, mainly because I just find it really awkward and uncomfortable. And so it’s been a really wild experience to have come out to very few people — although a lot of my friends and family knew already — and then to come out publicly in one big fell swoop. In some ways, it’s nice, but it’s made for a very emotional day.”
Osborne also was frank about country music’s less-than-warm attitude toward out LGBTQ people. As of now, Osborne is the first and only openly gay man signed to a major country label. And while Osborne had no qualms about his audience in Los Angeles, New York, or his home base of Nashville, he’s “interested” to see how shows the Brothers Osborne play in more rural areas go. Still, he was shocked by the outpouring of support from the industry, even from people he never expected.
“There are people that I think personify masculinity and straight culture to the nth degree who are coming out with a lot of pride for me,” he said. “That was really the moment to me that made me feel like, ‘Wow, that was there this whole time.'”