Country Singer Billy Gilman Comes Out: “I’m In An Industry That’s Ashamed Of Me”

billy gilman

Just hours after country star Ty Herndon came out in an interview with People today, another C&W crooner has stepped out of the closet: Billy Gilman, who first hit the charts as an 12-year-old with 2000’s “One Voice,” posted a video this afternoon in which he told fans he was gay

Gilman, who is visibly nervous in the clip, thanked Herndon for making it easier for him, and revealed that it was a reporter seeing him with his partner in Rhode Island that ultimately lead him to share his story, rather than see it in the papers, full of what he calls “not truths.”

He also took the Country music industry to task, but thanked certain stars who have helped create a more inclusive environment

You know, 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 knowing that because I’m in an genre and industry that is ashamed of me for being me.

That said, I want to say that all of the country artists that literally I grew up with—Keith Urban, Vince, Lee Ann Rhimes and all of these wonderful friends of mine have been nothing but supportive. Not that they knew but they’ve just been such wonderful people.

Gilman revealed he’s “happily” been in a relationship for the last five months.

Watch Billy’s video below


Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.