T.J. Osborne of Country-Rock Duo Brothers Osborne Comes Out as Gay

He becomes "the only openly gay artist signed to a major country label."

Can we get a yee-haw?!

T.J. Osborne, the lead vocalist for country music duo Brothers Osborne, has come out as gay in a profile for Time.

“I’m very comfortable being gay,” Osborne says in the new 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.”

T.J.—short for Thomas John—formed the country-rock band with his brother, John, in 2012, and have since released seven country Top 40 singles, and three studio albums, with their latest, Skeletons, debuting last year to critical acclaim. They have also won four CMA Awards, been nominated for seven Grammys, and worked with country superstars like Dierks Bentley and Maren Morris.

Time writer Sam Lansky notes that Osborne is now currently the only “openly gay artist signed to a major country label.”

“People will ask, ‘Why does this even need to be talked about?’ and personally, I agree with that,” Osborne explains. “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!”

During lockdown, Osborne realized that the “perfect time” to come out would never come: “I want to get to the height of my career being completely who I am,” he says. “I mean, I am who I am, but I’ve kept a part of me muted, and it’s been stifling.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

Osborne joins Lil Nas X, Orville Peck, Brandi Carlile, and Katie Pruitt as another artist queering up the country music genre.

In 2019, Peck told Gay Times that he believed country music was “super gay” because of “the drama. The storytelling. There’s so many incredible figures in country that gay dudes would die for, because it’s pageantry, almost,” he explained. “With country music, there’s a long legacy of camp-ness, storytelling and flamboyance with costumes, wigs and rhinestones. Just look at Dolly Parton, she’s practically a drag queen.”

Osborne’s friend, LGBTQ ally Kacey Musgraves says now with his coming out, “Others will now feel invited to the country music party for the first time. Country music deserves a future even more honest than its past.”

Welcome to the fam, T.J.!

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."
@chrisreindeer