Country star, Ty Herndon has come out as gay. “I’m an out, proud and happy gay man,” the singer revealed to to People magazine during a sit-down in New York Tuesday.
The 51 year old singer had a string of hits in the late 90s, including the #1 country hits, “What Mattered Most,” “Living in a Moment,” and “It Must Be Love.”
My mother probably knew I was gay before I did. I remember sitting down with her and having the conversation,” recalls Herndon, noting his career path in country worried her. But, ultimately, “she was more concerned about me having a happy life. You have to be able to do that in your own skin, and [my family] has seen me struggle with being gay my whole career.
I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. They’ve been my mistakes, and I own them,” says Herndon. “I’ve done a lot of work around forgiveness with people that I’ve hurt and people I’ve not been honest with because of my sexuality.
Herndon has been married to women, twice and was arrested for indecent exposure for allegedly exposing himself to a police officer in 1995. The charge was later dropped in a plea bargain. Subsequently, the singer ended up in rehab for substance abuse. Hiding who you really are from the world can take it’s toll
Fellow country singer, Chely Wright, who came out to People in 2010, is a good friend and was instrumental in his coming out.
Herndon has been in a long term relationship with a man named Matt since 2008, and began coming out ot family in his early 202. So, this “revelation” cannot be news to the Nashville community, right? Neither Herndon or Wright have high profile careers at the moment. It would be interesting if one of the current bro-country stars came out. Would an out gay country artist be embraced by the country community, which tends toward religiosity and conservatism?
In any case, hopefully the public revelation takes another weight off of the singer’s shoulders. Herndon told People, “I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone’s son or daughter or grandchild’s life not be as difficult as mine has been. Maybe they wouldn’t have to go through as much pain and suffering. It’s time to tell my truth.”