Country music singer Ty Herndon says he
came out gay last year to help Southern teens who are struggling with
The 53-year-old Herndon publicly
announced his sexuality for the first time in an interview with
PEOPLE, making him only the second openly gay country music artist
after close friend Chely Wright.
Herndon comes out gay.)
Herndon's coming out inspired fellow
country music star Billy Gilman to follow suit.
“There was a lot of reasons,”
Herndon answered when asked by GLAAD why he decided to come out.
“But most importantly was so that I could live in this body that
God gave me, be authentic and tell my story, and be a friend to so
many of those kids in the South who, let's just be real, who are
taking their own lives because of who they are.” (The video is
embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Herndon co-hosted the inaugural Concert
for Love and Acceptance on Friday at the CMA Fest in Nashville,
Tennessee. Proceeds from the concert benefit GLAAD.