TJ Osborne Says the Response to Him Coming Out as Gay 'Has Been a Tsunami of Love'
While chatting virtually with CBS This Morning on Friday, the 36-year-old Brothers Osborne singer said the love he's been shown "has been amazing, honestly" and encouraged others "out there dealing with the same thing" to come forward and share their stories.
"It's a hard thing to describe and a very difficult thing to go through, and I even had a lot of support around me. But once I finally came out, I didn't really understand the magnitude of how much people cared about me and loved me and supported me," he said. "Had I known that the whole time, I would have done it probably a long time ago and saved myself a lot of strife."
"Anyone out there, if you're dealing with that, there's people that love you and people that support you a lot," the country star added. "Feel encouraged by that."
Earlier this month, in an interview with TIME, the musician came out as gay — and detailed that he has the unconditional support of his brother John, with whom he forms their country duo.
"I'm very comfortable being gay," Osborne 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!' "
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For Osborne, coming out is something he said 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," Osborne added.
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During his CBS This Morning interview, Osborne was also asked if he had come out to family and friends before he shared the news publicly, to which he noted that those closest to him already knew.
"It has been a tsunami of love, almost to the point that it was hard for me to comprehend it for several days," he said. "My close family and friends have known for a while. At the same time, I felt publicly I was stuck in a second gear phase."
"Honestly, for straight people out there, coming out is really awkward. It's an awkward thing to talk about," he continued. "It's a really odd thing to bring up. I work in the entertainment business so I like lots of attention, but I don't like that kind."
Osborne added, "That type of attention is just uncomfortable. To be able to do that in that moment, to do it in one full swoop, it was nice … For me, it was that moment of just taking a leap of faith."