Billy Gilman, Country Singer, Comes Out as Gay in YouTube Video

Billy Gilman comes out as gay
Taking a cue from Ty Herndon, country singer Billy Gilman publicly came out as gay in a YouTube video on Nov. 20 AP Photo/Ed Rode

Ty Herndon is in good company. After the "What Matters Most" singer publicly came out as gay on Thursday, Nov. 20, his fellow country star Billy Gilman followed suit, opening up to fans in a nearly six-minute YouTube video.

Gilman — who first rose to fame at age 11 with the hit song "One Voice" — tweeted the video on Thursday afternoon, calling it "My Story." In it, he revealed that he decided to come out after he was photographed with his partner of five months. "It was in that moment that I knew that I'd rather it be from me than you reading it somewhere else and probably filled with 'not truth,'" he explained to his 26,200 followers.

Still, Gilman, now 26, wrestled with how to come out. "It's taken me a good many weeks to figure out how I was to approach this video that you're watching right now," he began. "But today, actually, a fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video." 

The "Say You Will" crooner went on to say he'd hit some snags in his career recently, which he thought might be related to rumors about his sexual orientation. "If people don't like your music, that's one thing, but after having sold over five million records, having a wonderful life in the music industry, I knew something was wrong when no major label wanted to sit down and have a meeting and listen to the new stuff," he said. 

"It's difficult for me to make this video, not because I'm ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist, or a gay person. But it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this…because I'm in a genre, in an industry that is ashamed of me for being me," he continued.

Later, he shared a clip of his latest music video with fans, and then thanked them for their support over the years. "Know that I will always strive to be the best artist I can be," he said. "And now that I have finally found my place as a person, that only makes the music that much better."

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