TJ Osborne came out as the first publicly gay man signed to a major country music record label in 2021.
During an recent interview on SiriusXM’s Exit 209 with Storme Warren podcast, TJ Osborne, one-half of the country hit-makers Brothers Osborne, revealed that his brother and band member, John Osborne already knew that he was gay before he officially came out to him.
“When he saw my internet history, he kind of knew,” Osborne laughed.
“Yeah. I was like, wow. Interesting,” John replied.
Though TJ said that he's known he was gay since "before I even understood what it was," he'd "never discussed it with anyone."
He also revealed that he wanted to tell John about his sexuality before they tied themselves into a contract with EMI Records Nashville in 2012.
He said, "I was like, 'Hey, before we sign this and we get kind of tangled up, contractually entangled in something, you need to know that this is a thing that I need to tell you about me that I think you might now, but I also want you to know that I do intend on coming out at some point. I don't know when that is, but I don't want to live my life closeted.'
Join our community with our FREE weekly newsletter
TJ added that John was “incredibly supportive” as he came out privately to “a couple of people that I thought really needed to know”.
John then joked to his brother that he would "balance" him out.
He said, "To break awkward tension, I just remember saying, 'Well, you don't have to worry TJ because the other member in your band is a raging heterosexual, so I'm here to balance you out'. I just wanted to say something to make someone laugh and it was after that then we just had drinks and I felt so much happiness and joy for him and it was a beautiful, beautiful night."
TJ said in the article, “I’m 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. That feels so strange. I want to get to the height of my career being completely who I am. I mean, I am who I am, but I’ve kept a part of me muted, and it’s been stifling.”
In November 2021, attended the CMA Awards with his boyfriend Abiezer Ventura (in which they shared a celebratory on-air kiss after Brothers Osborne won ‘Vocal Duo Of The Year’). TJ also brought Ventura to the GRAMMY Awards in April 2022, when Brothers Osborne won their first GRAMMY Award for ‘Best Country Duo/Group Performance’ for Younger Me.
“For those of you who do not know, [Younger Me] was written really in response to me coming out,” TJ said. “I never thought I would be able to do music professionally because of my sexuality, and I certainly never thought it would be here on this stage accepting a GRAMMY, after having done something, I felt like was going to be life changing, potentially in a very negative way."
He added, "But here I am tonight, not only accepting this GRAMMY award with my brother who I love so much, but I’m here with a man who I love and who loves me back. I don’t know what I did to be so lucky.”
In June 2022, Brothers Osborne released a four-song digital EP to celebrate Pride Month. The track list includes I’m Not For Everyone, the duo’s song celebrating diversity and the power of being yourself (even if that means you don’t fit in with the mainstream) and Younger Me.
Keep up to date with Brothers Osborne on their Facebook page here.