Country singer Billy Gilman has followed in one of his peers' footsteps by also coming out as gay.

The 26-year-old star posted an emotional five-and-a-half-minute video on YouTube Thursday, where he talked about the hardships he has faced in the country music industry as a result of his previously rumored sexuality. Billy reveals in the video that all of the rumors nearly cost him potential record deals.

"I threw a showcase in Nashville, and no major label showed," he admits.

"It's difficult for me to make this video, not because I'm ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist or a gay person," he continues, "but it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this knowing that I'm in a genre and an industry that's ashamed of me for being me."

After a reporter spotted him with his partner several months ago and snapped a photo, Billy said he knew what he had to do, but needed to gather the courage to do it.

Ty Herndon

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

"It was in that moment that I knew that I'd rather it be from me, than you reading it from somewhere else," he says. "I can honestly say I'm scared to death."

But after Ty Herndon came clean to People about his sexual orientation, saying, "I'm an out, proud and happy gay man," Billy decided to post his video.

"A fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video," Billy says, adding, "I wanted my fans who have stuck by me for many, many years to know."

Billy mentions specific country music artists who have supported him regardless of whether or not they knew about his sexuality, including Keith Urban, Vince Gill and LeAnn Rimes.

He also admits that he could have admitted the truth on some talk show, but preferred to do it simply in front of his own camera where he could talk for himself.

"I've been an advocate for so many things in my life that I thought why not now be an advocate for me and for the cause that I believe in."

The "One Voice" singer reveals that he has been with his partner, whom he doesn't name, for five months.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share