Drawing inspiration from the fellow country music artist Ty Herndon coming out earlier today, singer Billy Gilman announced he was also gay in a video posted online, reports Towleroad.
"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. But it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this knowing that because I'm in an genre and industry that is ashamed of me for being me," Gilman says in the video.
At the age of 11, Gilman became the youngest singer to land a Top 40 hit on the country music charts with his debut single, "One Voice," in 2000, and his debut album of the same name was certified double platinum in the U.S.
Gilman quickly followed up with a Christmas album, Classic Christmas, and his sophomore effort, Dare to Dream. Both were certified gold in the U.S., with Dream peaking at number 6 on the Billboard country music albums chart.
"I've been an advocate for so many things in my life that I thought why not now be an advocate for me and the cause that I believe in with my whole heart," Gilman said.
In addition to publicly revealing his sexuality, Gilman teased a sneak peek at a new music video he currently has in the works and said, "Now that I have finally found my place as a person that only makes the music that much better."
"I felt it was time for me to be honest and to be truthful."