Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#TopStoryTuesday : Billy Gilman's Coming Out video

Billy Gilman revealed that he is gay. #TopStoryTuesday
Remember that kid sensation in 2000 singing his 'One Voice' hit? Hours after fellow country singer Ty Herndon came out as a gay, Billy Gilman opened up about his decision to come out as well in a video he shared on YouTube.

* Full story and video after break...

Billy Gilman came out as a gay online on Thursday, November 20, hours after fellow country singer Ty Herndon's revelation. In a five-and-a-half minute video posted on YouTube, the "One Voice" hitmaker explained his decision to publicly come out. 

"Today a fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video," he began, "And I wanted my fans who have stuck by me for many, many years to know. I took a long time to grow in country music, and I took a while to grow up and recently released some new music." 

Billy then told a story about being caught by a reporter in Rhode Island while he was attending a local festival with his partner whom he described as "somebody who I am now, happily, sharing my life with." He added, "It was in that moment that I knew that I'd rather it be from me than you reading it somewhere else and probably filled with not-truth." 

He went on to explain how difficult it was to be a gay country artist and how he felt prejudice in Nashville after rumors of his sexuality emerged. "Being a gay male country artist is not the best thing," he shared, "If people don't like your music, that's one thing. But after selling over 5 million records, having a wonderful life in the music industry, I knew something was wrong when no major label wanted to sit down and have a meeting and listen to the new stuff." 

The "Oklahoma" singer added, "It's difficult for me to make this video, not because I'm ashamed to be 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 a genre in an industry that is ashamed of me for being me." 

Billy thanked his friends for their support. "That said, I want to say that all of the country artists that literally I grew up with - Keith Urban, Vince [Gill], LeAnn Rimes 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." He also thanked Ty whom he had "known and been a fan of, and congratulations on such a courageous effort." 

"I've been going back and forth on how to approach this and rather than do it on some talk show, I thought I'd do it in front of a simple camera, very personal," he continued, "I've been an advocate for so many things in my life I thought now why not be an advocate for me and for the cause that I believe in with my whole heart." 

"It's been a crazy day," Billy concluded, "and I can honestly say I'm scared to death. But I thank each and every one of you for your support. I will always strive to be the best artist that I can be. Now that I know that I have finally found my place as a person, that only makes the music that much better. I know some people won't agree with this, and that's OK. To each his own. But it was time for me to be honest and to be truthful."

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