T.J Osborne, lead singer of the country-rock duo Brothers Osborne, has come out as gay.
The singer, who alongside his brother John formed the group, revealed in an exclusive interview with TIME Magazine that he felt opening up about his sexuality was "not a big deal", stating in the interview "I’m very comfortable being gay, 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”.
With this news, the singer has become the only openly gay artist signed to a major country label, EMI Records Nashville. While he's perhaps the most mainstream country artist to openly come out as gay, he joins fellow contemporaries Brandy Clark, Waylon Payne, Katie Pruitt, Lil Nas X, Brandi Carlile and Orville Peck in doing so.
In opening up about his sexuality, Osborne said he hopes he can inspire queer people to feel more welcome in country music. “I realize that it is a big part of who I am: the way I think, the way I act, the way I perform,” he commented. “God, think of all the times that we talk about love, and write about love. It’s the biggest thing we ever get to feel. And I’ve kept the veil on.”
Further in the interview with Time, Osborne discusses what the future will hold following his announcement; “I don’t think I’m going to get run off the stage in Chicago,” he stated. “But in a rural town playing a county fair? I’m curious how this will go.”
Following the release of the interview, Osborne has received an outpouring of support from fellow artists and fans alike across social media:
Brothers Osborne's latest album, Skeletons, out now via EMI Records Nashville.
Photography by Kristine Porter.