Country music star Ty Herndon has an announcement to make. The 51-year-old shared a personal side of himself in a recent interview with People. In the interview, Herndon came out as gay and shared that he's been in a long-term relationship for a while now. He told the magazine, "I'm an out, proud and happy gay man." He opened up in the hopes that it could help someone else, who's struggling with their sexuality, especially if they're younger. He explained:
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. Maybe they wouldn't have to go through as much pain and suffering. It's time to tell my truth.
He credits his long-term partner, Matt, with helping him finally come out, along with his close friend, Wright. He's been with Matt for several years now. According to his interview with People, the pair was introduced by a mutual friend and they spoke on the phone for months before meeting. They're both practicing Christians, but it took time for Herndon to reconcile his faith with his sexuality. He said,
I have a connection to something bigger than myself, and no one's going to tell me that I can't have it. We get to choose who we love, and that includes God, and he loves us back.
While it's a happier time now, he remembers feeling conflicted as a kid. He explains:
I was 10, sitting in church and horrified that I might be a homosexual. Whatever that word meant, I knew that I probably was one. And I know there's a lot of those kids still out there. Telling my story is an opportunity to help just one of them.
It's inspiring that he's sharing his story to let others know they're not alone, and to spare them the pain he went through. It's also great that he's become comfortable with himself, his religion, and his partner.
Oh, and in case you were wondering more about Matt, he didn't divulge too many personal details. But based on some detective work, I discovered he sometimes appears on Herndon's Instagram. Here are a few photos of the lovely couple!