Saturday November 22, 2014
I celebrated my 70th birthday on February 17, 2012, in Nashville where I met actor, singer, and musician Chris Carmack co-star of the hit TV series Nashville. Chris plays Will Lexington a rising country star struggling with the fact that he is gay, which would not sit well with the country and western community.
Thursday, the same night Nashville airs, 52-year-old country and western singer Ty Herndon and singer Billy Gilman came out. Ty Herndon announced first. He had an immediate impact on double-platinum country artist Billy Gilman, who, hearing of Herndon's move, came out in a YouTube video on Thursday as well. At the end of the day ...most people have always figured out when someone is gay.
I wonder how this will affect Chris Carmack's character on Nashville. If fans turn against gay country singers, as they have with other performers who came out, then so be it. People will have to take a long hard look at their own prejudices. This is just one of an endless list of challenges in which we are gaining understanding and making inroads. There are people in the world who have never met anyone who is gay and do not understand the dynamic of the whole experience. It's all about duality - so there will be positives and negative.
There will be other country performers who will soon come out in the aftermath of this announcement. Give it time. Ty and Billy have definitely opened the door to the future of country music. Let's give them lots of credit and support. It's time and part of the program. Straight or gay, humans do the whackiest things in relationships then go on to write and sing about them. We are a crazy species filled with too much judgment, fear, and anger using every opportunity to vent. Let it all go.
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