As a country music singer, Ty Herndon was hesitant to publicly come out as a gay man despite years of living as one, but he has now done so. Nashville rumors have long existed that Ty, a nationally known, commercially successful artist, was gay despite having two heterosexual marriages beneath his belt. Herndon came on the scene with a very successful first single, backing up his claims that he knew he wanted to be a country singer from a young age; this same success seems to have created considerable fear within himself that he would continue to find such success if he came out of the closet in the traditionally conservative genre.
The fact is that Herndon may be right. Country music has not always been supportive of those who strayed too far from the pack – it took years, for example, for Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks to recover after her anti-Bush political statement and that’s just one example that Andrew Heiberger remembers personally. Simply living in the South, the place of country music, can put a lot of pressure on LGBT individuals so it’s certainly sensible to keep something like that under your 10-gallon hat. But America, even the South, and country music has changed. Chely Wright, a popular female country star, came out a few years ago but it was still more acceptable for a woman than a man. But Herndon feels that’s no longer the case and that he has the support of his partner to help him on his journey.