Country music megastar TJ Osborne felt ‘stuck in second gear’ before ‘awkwardly’ coming out as gay

Patrick Kelleher March 1, 2021
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TJ Osborne came out as gay in February. (Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

TJ Osborne revealed that before coming out as gay, he felt “stuck in second gear”.

Thomas John “TJ” Osborne opened up about his sexuality in an interview with Time magazine last month, making him the first openly gay country artists signed to a major country label.

The Brothers Osborne lead vocalist reflected on his momentous coming out during an appearance on CBS’ This Morning on Friday (26 February), and urged other queer people thinking of coming out to open up to their loved ones.

“I would say just to encourage anyone else out there who’s dealing with the same thing… it’s a hard thing to describe, it’s a very difficult thing to go through,” he said.

“And I even had a lot of support around me. But once I finally came out… I didn’t really understand the magnitude of how much people cared about me, loved me and supported me.”

Osborne said he would have come out sooner if he could have known how kind and loving people would be, including his fellow musicians on the country music scene.

“Honestly, had I known that the whole time, I would have done it probably a long time ago and saved myself a lot of strife. Anyone out there, if you’re dealing with that, there’s people that love you and people that support you. Lots of them.

“It has been a tsunami of love, almost to the point it was hard for me to even comprehend it for several days.”

Country music star TJ Osborne is ‘very comfortable being gay’

Elsewhere in the interview, Osborne said his family and friends have known about his sexuality for “a while”, but keeping his identity a secret from the world had become a burden.

The singer felt like he was “stuck in second gear” because he wasn’t out publicly.

“Honestly, for straight people out there, coming out is really awkward. It’s an awkward thing to talk about. It’s a really odd thing to bring up. Obviously, I work in the entertainment business, so I like lots of attention,” he joked.

Speaking to Time magazine in February, Osborne said he is “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,” he said.

“That feels so strange.”

Osborne was inundated with supportive messages from country music icons when he came out, including Kacey Musgraves and LeAnn Rimes.

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