T.J. Osborne of Brothers Osborne country duo comes out as gay

Osborne, who fronts the Maryland-bred Brothers Osborne with his older brother-guitarist John Osborne, knew he was gay from a young age, and came out to friends and family years ago.

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John Osborne (left) and T.J. Osborne of the musical duo Brothers Osborne perform during halftime at a game between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears in Detroit, in 2019.

John Osborne (left) and T.J. Osborne of the musical duo Brothers Osborne perform during halftime at a game between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears in Detroit, in 2019.

AP

T.J. Osborne, one-half of dynamic country duo Brother Osborne, came out as gay in an interviewpublished Wednesday by Time magazine.

He’s the lone openly gay man signed to a major label country record deal, according to the article. Osborne, who fronts the Maryland-bred Brothers Osborne with his older brother-guitarist John Osborne, knew he was gay from a young age, and came out to friends and family years ago.

“I’m very comfortable being gay,” he told the publication.“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.”

In an Instagram post Wednesday, John Osborne praised his “so talented, so caring, so giving” brother. Country listeners know Brothers Osborne, a CMA and ACM Award-winning outfit for hits “Stay A Little Longer” and “It Ain’t My Fault,” as well as Dierks Bentley collaboration “Burning Man.”

“He’s taking one of the most important steps of his entire life and he’s doing it in front of the entire world,” John Osborne said. “He’ll always have my support. No matter what, he will continue to have mysupport. It’s an honor to call him my brother.”

Some artists who identify as gay— Brandi Carlile, Orville Peck, Lil Nas X, Brandy Clark, Waylon Payne and others— earned country music acclaim in the last decade with sold out tours and award show honors. But country radio, still the driving force in mainstream success, remainsdominated by straight white men despite exhaustive calls from industry leaders for change.

In T.J. Osborne coming out, the band brings LGBTQI representation to airwaves where queer listeners seldom hear themselves. The band’s latest single, “All Night,” reached No. 25 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

And heworried coming out would look “opportunistic,” according to Time.

“People will ask, ‘Why does this even need to be talked about?’ and personally, I agree with that,” he said. “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!’”

He added, “I don’t think I’m going to get run off the stage in Chicago. But in a rural town playing a county fair? I’m curious how this will go.”

On social media Wednesday, T.J. Osborne earned a chorus of support from Nashville peers including Jason Isbell, Carly Pearce, Cassadee Pope and radio host Bobby Bones.

Isbell tweeted “hell yes TJ,” while Pearce called him “one of the best guys I know.”

Bobby Bones shared: “TJ is one of my favorite people in town. Not just favorite artist, but person. Love that you’re getting to tell your story.”

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