The biggest lie I told myself is that “you can’t be gay and in country music,” Ty Herndon tells Entertainment Tonight.
The 51-year-old country singer came out in an interview, saying, “I have an awesome relationship that I’ve been in for a good number of years. [I] love him very much and he loves me.”
Herndon, who has been married to two different women, claims his ex-wives “absolutely” knew he was gay. Rumour about his sexuality circulated in the media in 1996 after an undercover cop alleged Herndon had exposed himself to him in a park. Herndon insists he doesn’t have a clear memory of the incident, which followed six days of drug abuse.
Now sober, he’s happy to finally live openly as an “out and proud gay man.”
“My mother probably knew I was gay before I did,” Herndon tells People. “I remember sitting down with her and having the conversation. She was more concerned about me having a happy life. You have to be able to do that in your own skin, and [my family] has seen me struggle with being gay my whole career.”
“I had a lot of people around me that I trusted at a time and I was like, ‘Hey, you know this about me but the world doesn’t. So I’m gonna need to call on your services for a little while,’” he says. “It was unfortunate that I had to do that, but I felt that’s what I had to do to have my career. Standing on some pretty solid legs today, so I get to tell my truth today.”