Billy Gilman and Ty Herndon: Country Singers Come Out as Gay

PHOTO: Country singer Billy Gilman is seen in his coming out video he posted to YouTube, Nov. 20, 2014. Right, Ty Herndon attends Country Weeklys 5th annual fashion show & concert at Rocketown in this June 7, 2011 file photo, in Nashville, Tenn.YouTube | Getty Images
Country singer Billy Gilman is seen in his coming out video he posted to YouTube, Nov. 20, 2014. Right, Ty Herndon attends Country Weekly's 5th annual fashion show & concert at Rocketown in this June 7, 2011 file photo, in Nashville, Tenn.

Two country stars, Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman, made personal announcements on Thursday: They're gay.

Herndon, 52, went first, telling People magazine that he realized he was gay when he was about 10 years old and told his loved ones ten years later.

Now, in a happy relationship with his longtime partner, Matt, Herndon is looking forward to one day marrying and starting a family. He's also hoping that his announcement will help others.

"During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone's son or daughter or grandchild's life not be as difficult as mine has been," he told the magazine. "Maybe they wouldn't have to go through as much pain and suffering. It's time to tell my truth."

One person he inspired was Gilman, 26, who made his own announcement via a YouTube post.

"It’s taken me a good many weeks to figure out how I was to approach this video that you’re watching right now," Gilman began. "But today, actually, a fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video. And I wanted my fans, who have stuck by me for many, many years, to know."

Gilman went on to explain that he decided to come out after he was spotted with his partner, "who I am happily now sharing my life with," by a local reporter. As a result, he felt it was important to tell his fans the truth behind the photo before it hit the press.

"I know some people won’t agree with this. And that’s OK. To each his own," he said. "But I felt it was time for me to be honest and to be truthful. I love you all and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you."