T.J. (Thomas John) Osborne of Brothers Osborne has come out as gay.
“I’m ready to put this behind me,” he shared during an in-depth interview with TIME Magazine on Wednesday (Feb. 3).
Osborne continued, “I’m very comfortable being gay.” Later adding, “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.”
And while this may come as a surprise to some fans, T.J. has known since a very “young age and has been out to his family and friends in his tight-knit Nashville community for years,” according to TIME.
The singer first told his brother John that he was gay in his mid-twenties. John recalls him being very open and candid with him.
“He was very open and candid about it, and I was emotional, because my brother was finally able to be completely honest with me about who he was, how often, in life, do we hold back parts of ourselves and wish that we didn’t,” John shared. “If I had to have all my money and success erased for my brother to be truly fulfilled in life, I wouldn’t even think about it. Not for a second.”
Osborne continued to discuss his coming out, sharing that “people will ask, ‘why does this even need to be talked about?’ and personally, I agree with that, 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!'”
With this news, T.J. has become the only openly gay artist signed to a major country label, a historic moment for genre.