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LeAnn Rimes, Lucy Hale support Billy Gilman's coming out gay

Nov. 23, 2014 - , Appearing on Entertainment Tonight, country music artist Billy Gilman said that he was overwhelmed by the support he's received after coming out gay.

The 26-year-old Gilman made his announcement in a YouTube video to fans on the same day as Ty Herndon's coming out, making him the third openly gay country music artist after Herndon and Chely Wright.

Gilman, who at 12 became the youngest artist ever to have a Top 40 country hit with the 2000 release of One Voice, said that he feared his sexuality was holding back his career.

"Being a gay male country artist is not the best thing [for your career]," Gilman said in the video."I did a showcase in Nashville and no major label showed."

Gilman told ET's Nancy O'Dell that he's in an industry "that's ashamed of me for being me" but added that he's also received positive response.

"Ty [Herndon] called and wished me well and told me it was a courageous effort," Gilman said. "LeAnn Rimes said she was crying in a McDonalds bathroom. Lucy Hale, you know, one of my peers, who's a phenomenal singer in country music and a great actress, she has been texting me back and forth. The reception has been pretty overwhelming so far."

"I just want to make the best music for my fans," he added. 



Ty Herndon comes out gay
Nov. 21, 2014 - , Country music singer Ty Herndon on Thursday announced that he's gay.

The 52-year-old Herndon told PEOPLE that he's in a longterm relationship with a man whom he simply referred to as Matt.

"I was 10, sitting in church and horrified that I might be a homosexual," Herndon said. "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."

"They can be loved by God, they can be married one day, they can have a family, they can give their parents grandkids."

"And they're not broken, they're not sinners and they're perfectly beautiful," he added.

Herndon said that both of his ex-wives knew about his sexuality.

"I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. They've been my mistakes, and I own them. I've done a lot of work around forgiveness with people that I've hurt and people I've not been honest with because of my sexuality," he said.

In 2010, Chely Wright became the first country music artist to come out gay. Wright and Herndon are close friends.

Herndon released his latest studio album, Lies I Told Myself, last year.


 
Former 'ex-gay' leader John Smid marries man in Oklahoma
Nov. 20, 2014 - , John Smid, the former leader of the "ex-gay" ministry Love in Action, on Sunday married Larry McQueen in Oklahoma.

Smid and McQueen live in Paris, Texas and have been dating for one year.

According to the Memphis Flyer, the men met three years ago.

In a Facebook post, Smid said that their acquaintance turned romantic as they gradually got to know each other.

"As we dated we shared our vision for life, our personal philosophies, and our faith values," Smid wrote."We found a compatibility that was comfortable and exciting."

Smid stepped down as executive director of Love in Action in 2008.

In a revealing 2011 blog post, Smid confessed that he has yet to meet a "man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual."

"I used to define homosexuality or heterosexuality in terms describing one's behavior," Smid wrote."I thought it made sense and through the years often wrote articles and talked from that perspective. Today, I understand why the gay community had such an issue with my writings. My perspective denied so many facets of the homosexual experience. I minimized a person's life to just their sexuality but homosexuality is much more than sex."


 
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