TJ and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne | CREDIT: AFF-USA/SHUTTERSTOCK
"It's a big part of who I am: The way I think, the way I act, the way I perform," the country star said. "Think of all the times that we talk about love, and write about love. It's the biggest thing we ever get to feel"
Brothers Osborne's TJ Osborne is sharing his truth.
In a Wednesday interview with Time, the musician came out as gay — and he has the unconditional support of his brother John, with whom he forms the country duo.
"I'm very comfortable being gay," the 36-year-old told the outlet, explaining that he worried about coming out in an industry that leans conservative. "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."
"People will ask, 'Why does this even need to be talked about?' and personally, I agree with that," he later added. "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!'"
For TJ, coming out is something he wants to put "behind me" since it's "a very small detail" about him.
"There are times when I think I've marginalized this part of me so that I feel better about it," he said. "And I realize that it is a big part of who I am: The way I think, the way I act, the way I perform. God, think of all the times that we talk about love, and write about love. It's the biggest thing we ever get to feel. And I've kept the veil on [it]."
"At this point, my happiness is more valuable than anything else I'd ever be able to achieve," he added. After the release of their Grammy-nominated song "Stay a Little Longer," the duo paired its music video with images of interracial and gay couples. Though received positively by most, TJ explained that there were some people who called the duo "f—t lovers," discouraging him to live his truth publicly. "Saying, 'Hey, don't hold my hand. Someone I know is in here, so can you wait in the car?'" he recalled about telling the men he dated. "Rightfully, they would feel unwanted by me." After the article was released, TJ posted a video addressing his coming out in the Time article. In the interview, TJ explained that he told his brother John, 38, he was gay around the time the two moved to Nashville after signing a publishing and record deal.
"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," John said in the interview. "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."
John later shared a video on Instagram, saying it's "an honor to call him my brother" after this important moment in his life.
"I'm very proud of my brother today. He's taken one of the most important steps of his entire life," he said in the video. "And he's doing it in front of the entire world. He's always had my support no matter what. It's an honor to call him my brother."
"He's a beautiful, amazing, human being. So talented, so caring, so giving. It's an honor to have a member of my family be a part of the LGBTQIA community," he added. "Proud of you, TJ. Love you, man." TJ also shared a video on Instagram encouraging his followers to read the article in Time, writing, "This story always seemed too mountainous to tell but now that it's been told I am at a loss for words as to how clear the path was all along."
"I'm very proud to put this out there. I want you all that have known me throughout the years that the person you know is me and now you just know more about me," he said in the Instagram video. "I think that's so important in so many ways. I know I just want to help my relationship with my fans and my family, and, honestly, it's to help my relationship with myself."