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    A Mainstream Country Star Came Out As Gay, And The Reaction Isn't Exactly What I Was Expecting

    This is a really big deal!

    T.J. Osborne, of the country duo Brothers Osborne, has publicly come out as gay.

    The Brother's Osborne performing onstage
    Jason Kempin / Getty Images

    Yes, he's one of us.


    The country star came out in an interview for Time.

    TJ playing the guitar
    Tim Mosenfelder / WireImage / Getty Images

    “People will ask, ‘Why does this even need to be talked about?’ And personally, I agree with that. 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!’” he said.

    "I know it's going to help my relationship with my friends, my family, and, honestly, myself. I just want to thank everyone for the support," he said in an Instagram video.

    I'm not sure if you know, but there aren't exactly *many,* if any, out mainstream country artists. So this is a very big deal!

    A crowd of people watching TJ perform
    Tim Mosenfelder / WireImage / Getty Images

    As a lifelong fan of country music who has generally felt a *bit* out of the conversation because I'm gay, I'm somewhat surprised by the positive reactions from some of my all-time faves.

    Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

    It's overwhelming.


    Let's start with the one that makes me *the most* emotional: John Osborne, his brother and musical counterpart.

    Jason Kempin / Getty Images

    When asked by Time if he was worried that his brother was coming out, John said:

    “If I had to have all my money and success erased for my brother to be truly fulfilled in life,” John says emphatically, “I wouldn’t even think about it. Not for a second.”

    "Not for a second."


    It's too much!

    Other country stars I grew up loving and admiring have tweeted their support.

    Kacey Musgraves:

    Overcome with joy. He’s one of my best friends and one of the bravest people I know. Love you, TJ. Celebrating you today. // @brothersosborne

    Twitter: @KaceyMusgraves

    Dierks Bentley:

    Love this guy right here. @brothersosborne. Happy you are telling your story dude. 🤘👊

    Twitter: @DierksBentley

    Maren Morris:

    We love you so much, Teej. 🙌🏼✨

    Twitter: @MarenMorris

    Chris Young:

    Proud to have met/shared stages with this super talented artist several times! Great article. Respect @brothersosborne

    Twitter: @ChrisYoungMusic

    Dan + Shay:

    we love you TJ! ❤️❤️

    Twitter: @DanAndShay

    Eli Young Band:

    Hoping today is a big step forward for country music. We have always been friends, fans, and supporters of the @brothersosborne and the 4 of us couldn’t be happier that he is telling his story.

    Twitter: @EliYoungBand

    Ty Herndon:

    Congratulations TJ Osborne. There is nothing that can compare to living your life openly and authentically, and this will make a difference in the lives of so many. Proud of you, man.

    Twitter: @TyHerndoncom

    LeAnn Rimes:

    TJ, I hope you feel so supported today. It’s a brave thing to be wholly you in a world and industry that would rather you hide pieces of you behind a mask. #lgbtq #whollyloved

    Twitter: @leannrimes

    Chely Wright:

    Well done, T.J. Osborne. You’re nobody’s whisper anymore. You have just changed and saved a whole lot of lives; chief among them, your own. @brothersosborne

    Twitter: @chelywright

    Lindsey Ell:

    So proud of you, TJ. ❤️ @brothersosborne

    Twitter: @lindsayell

    And the comments on his Instagram just continue this sea of positivity from some of the greatest in the genre.

    Little Big Town:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Cole Swindell:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Miranda Lambert:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    James Otto:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Cassadee Pope:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Lauren Alaina:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Jon Pardi:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Hayes Carll:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Maren Morris, again:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Tenille Townes:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Ruston Kelly:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Wade Bowen:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Cody Alan:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Lori McKenna:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Karen Fairchild:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    And even Reese Witherspoon:

    tjosborne / Instagram / Via

    Basically, it's great and long overdue to have this type of LGBTQ representation in country music. I'm happy that kids growing up in 2021 will have someone like T.J. to relate to! Visibility really does matter.

    Words can’t describe the immense amount of love we feel today. This world, as imperfect as it may be, is beautiful at its core and our collective open minds/hearts are what make anything possible. Wishing the best that love has to offer to each and every one of you.

    Twitter: @brothersosborne