T.J. Osborne of the country duo Brothers Osborne came out as gay in a new interview with Time Magazine.
In doing so he has received incredible support from several members of the music industry and his fans while achieving a very important record for our community. The 36-year-old is now officially the first openly gay artist signed to a major country label.
Osborne’s sexuality is not something he has kept totally hidden throughout his life as many of his friends and family have known for years prior to him doing this publicly.
“I’m very comfortable being gay,” he said during the interview. “I find myself being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don’t have a problem with. That feels so strange.”
Him being “guarded” is totally understandable given the environment surrounding country music. One, its 2021 and we are finally getting an openly gay act signed to a major label which happened in other genres dating back several decades. That says a lot about where we are today.
Two, some of country’s fans are notorious for not letting things go. Time referenced The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks) whose career did a complete 180 after lead singer Natalie Maines criticized former President George W. Bush at a London concert in March 2003. It caused their newest single at the time, “Traveling Solder”, to rapidly drop off the charts and for many of their followers to turn a permanent blind eye on them which they never recovered from.
Being openly gay could very much alienate some of the fans he and his brother John have accumulated over the past eight years. Dan’s worriment for now, at least from what he said in the interview, comes from being possibly judged for doing this opportunistically.
“People will ask, ‘Why does this even need to be talked about?’ and personally, I agree with that,” he said. “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!”
Dan’s future, now that he’s publicly out, remains unknown. I don’t think I’m going to get run off the stage in Chicago. But in a rural town playing a county fair? I’m curious how this will go.”
Brothers Osborne have climbed through the ranks of the country music world while snatching up several trophies over the years. They’re mostly known for their singles “It Ain’t My Fault” and “Stay A Little Longer”, the latter of which is their highest charting track on the Billboard Country Charts.