Brothers Osborne's John Says He Was 'Ready' to 'Fight' Homophobes on Twitter After TJ Came Out

"At the end of the day, it comes down to what matters most, and it's my brother's happiness. It's not my career or our career," John recently told the Biscuits and Jam podcast

brothers osborne
Brothers Osborne. Photo: John Shearer/Getty

Brothers Osborne's John Osborne is opening up about how it felt to witness his brother TJ Osborne publicly come out as gay in February 2021.

The country duo recalled TJ's coming out experience on a recent episode of the Biscuits and Jam podcast, and John spoke in-depth about feeling protective over his brother while preparing for backlash from anti-LGBTQ+ individuals.

"My role was just to be his brother, you know? I wanted to be the support that he needed when he needed it," John, 40, told host Sid Evans of the moments leading up to the announcement. "At the end of the day, there was a bit of fear or concern or anxiety surrounding it because you don't know. You can't really predict how anyone's going to react."

He continued, "I was ready to verbally fight people on Twitter if I had to, and fortunately that never had to happen. It was quite eye-opening for me to know that, 'Wow, we've come a long way as a society to where that, yes, this is news, but it's great news. It's good news for everyone.'"

While fans' love and support made up the majority of responses to TJ's coming out, there were some homophobic reactions as well. "No matter what you say, there are going to be people that hate on you... It's unavoidable. But it was overall so beautifully positive," said John. "At the end of the day, it comes down to what matters most, and it's my brother's happiness. It's not my career or our career."

TJ Osborne
TJ Osborne. Lloyd Bishop/NBCU

TJ, 38, revealed his gay identity in a profile with Time and spoke about feeling "guarded" regarding his sexuality despite feeling "very comfortable being gay."

"People will ask, 'Why does this even need to be talked about?' and personally, I agree with that," he said at the time. "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!'"

John told Biscuits and Jam that before the story broke, he thought about the possibility of losing fans as a result: "I had come to terms with the idea, long before he decided to come out, that if he did come out one day and it ruined our entire career — it stopped it right there, dead in its tracks — I wouldn't care."

Abi Ventura, T.J. Osborne and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne, and Lucie Silvas attend the 65th GRAMMY Awards on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Abi Ventura, TJ Osborne and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne and Lucie Silvas. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

He added, "I would not lose sleep over that because it's not nearly as important as his happiness. So, for me, the anxiety came in, 'I gotta look out for my little brother,' but it was never, 'What's going to happen to our career?' because that really pales in comparison."

Elsewhere in the interview, TJ spoke about what led to his personal decision to come out publicly, noting that hiding part of himself didn't allow him to feel complete happiness.

"I didn't have that with my public life and my relationship with my fans, and I did feel like that was ultimately affecting my mental health and my relationship with myself and my ability to truly be who I am, and authentic," he said. "I just was at a point where, you know, the ends didn't justify the means, I guess. I think getting to a place to where, 'OK, I need to be happy.'"

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