T.J. Osborne, one-half of the award-winning country duo Brothers Osborne, is living his truth. In an interview published by Time magazine Wednesday morning, the country singer came out as gay, making him the only openly gay man signed to a major label country record deal, according to the outlet.
Although the Wednesday interview marks Osborne's public acknowledgment of being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, he told Time he has been out to those close to him for some time now. Osborne has been out to family and friends in his tight-knit Nashville community for years and said he is "very comfortable being gay." Osborne said he feels "being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don't have a problem with. That feels so strange." Osborne came out to his brother, Brothers Osborne guitarist John Osborne, shortly after they moved to Nashville and signed a publishing deal.
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"He was very open and candid about it, and I was emotional because my brother was finally able to be completely honest with me about who he was. How often, in life, do we hold back parts of ourselves and wish that we didn't?" John recalled before going on to again put his support behind his brother's decision to publicly come out. "If I had to have all my money and success erased for my brother to be truly fulfilled in life. I wouldn't even think about it. Not for a second."
While Osborne hopes this will mark a new step in their career, one that allows him to more openly express himself, Brothers Osborn has been inclusive with their art and conversation ever since splashing into the industry. The music video for their single "Stay a Little Longer" featured gay and interracial couples and the fan-favorite song "21 Summer" was written about a relationship Osborne had with a man who broke his heart, he revealed.
Osborne said he made the decision to publicly come out amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, during which he realized the perfect time to come out would never arise. Osborne said he wants "to get to the height of my career being completely who I am," stating that over the past years, he has "kept a part of me muted, and it's been stifling." Osborne said he hopes sharing his truth will open the door to new creative possibilities.