Brothers Osborne’s TJ Osborne spoke to Time about the coming out as a gay man, something family and friends in his tight-knit Nashville community have known for years.
TJ told Time, “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.”
Osborne admits that he is worried that coming out will look opportunistic, or attention-seeking, saying, “People will ask, ‘Why does this even need to be talked about?’ and personally, I agree with that, 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!”
TJ told the publication that he’s not sure what will happen next. He said, “I don’t think I’m going to get run off the stage in Chicago. But in a rural town playing a county fair? I’m curious how this will go.”
After moving to Nashville, T.J. and John signed a publishing deal, and eventually a record deal and it was around that time, when he was in his mid-twenties, that T.J. first told his brother that he is gay. John Osborne recalls, “He was very open and candid about it, and I was emotional, because my brother was finally able to be completely honest with me about who he was. How often, in life, do we hold back parts of ourselves and wish that we didn’t?”
John’s reaction when T.J. decided to come out publicly was similar. He noted, “If I had to have all my money and success erased for my brother to be truly fulfilled in life. I wouldn’t even think about it. Not for a second.”