Country star Ty Herndon, 52, shared more than just his music with the world this week. The country singer, who is best known for a string of hit albums back in the 90s, told People Magazine in a recent interview that he is gay.
Herndon says that he first thought that he was gay around the age of 10, and he recalls sitting in church as a child horrified that he may be homosexual, reports the New York Daily News.
“Whatever that word meant, I knew that I probably was one, and I know there are a lot of those kids still out there. Telling my story is an opportunity to help just one of them,” he said.
Herndon says he did not come out to his family until he was in his 20s, but he says he believes his mother probably knew he was gay before he did. While Herndon said that his mother worried about how the news would impact his career, her main concern was that her son have a happy life.
Herndon’s path to happiness in his personal life was a rocky one. He had two failed marriages to women, before he met his current partner. Herndon says he made a lot of mistakes in his past, and has worked hard to make amends.
“I’ve done a lot of work around forgiveness with people that I’ve hurt and people I’ve not been honest with because of my sexuality,” he said.
Herndon hopes that his story will help those who are fearful of coming out realize that “they’re not broken, they’re not sinners and they’re perfectly beautiful.” Herndon said it wasn’t until he attended a Tony Robbins seminar in 2009 that he decided that it was time for him to become more public about who he really is.
“I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone’s son or daughter or grandchild’s life not be as difficult as mine has been. Maybe they wouldn’t have to go through as much pain and suffering. It’s time to tell my truth,” Herndon said.
The country music world isn’t the most receptive place for gay stars, but Herndon says that he does see signs that it’s changing.
Herndon has been in a committed relationship with his partner for six years. CNN reports that the country singer doesn’t expect his life to change much now that he has come out.
“(Being gay) is just an addendum. I’m a gay man, and I’m looking forward to living the rest of my life authentically and happy.”
[Image via ABQ Journal]