America's Got Talent judge Julianne Hough says that since speaking her truth and sharing publicly in August that she's "not straight," she's "never felt more like a woman."
The subject of Hough's sexual identity came up in an interview with Women's Health while she was discussing her marriage to NHL player Brooks Laich.
"I [told him], 'You know I'm not straight, right?' And he was like, 'I'm sorry, what?' I was like, 'I'm not. But I choose to be with you,'" she said she told him during a personal transformation four months into their wedding.
Now, nearly two months after the interview dropped, Hough has just premiered "Transform," her first song in almost a decade, and she's singing the praises of coming into her own.
"This is the first time I feel like I'm not just trying to push it or perform it," Hough told Peopleat the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas last week. "It's like, no, this is just for me and this is my voice and my truth, and I'm so excited to just speak from that place. And if people like it and resonate with it, then that's a bonus. But this felt so good, to just like let it out and be me."
At 31, Hough is a singer, dancer, and actress who appeared on Dancing With the Stars for years and in movies including the Footloose remake, Burlesque, and Rock of Ages. She and her famous brother Derek Hough grew up in Utah and were raised in the anti-LGBTQ Mormon faith.
"I have never felt more like a woman in my life, and I've always been the girl next door, all-American sweetheart," Hough told People. "That's a version and a part of me, but it's not all of who I am, and I didn't even know that about me."
"The last few years have been about me picking up all parts of who I am and the parts that I've suppressed over probably 25 years," she added.
In her Women's Health interview Hough delved into the reasons she'd been publicly silent about her sexual identity until she met her husband.
"I think there's a safety with my husband now that I'm unpacking all of this, and there's no fear of voicing things that I've been afraid to admit or that I've had shame or guilt about because of what I've been told or how I was raised," she said.