Two years after making history as the first male openly gay country music artist, Ty Herndon is revealing more about his coming out.

In an interview with PEOPLE, Herndon, 54, said that he has responded to every hateful tweet and Facebook post he's received.

“Social media can be pretty hateful,” he said. “I've answered every hateful tweet or Facebook post, and I've answered it with love and with one simple question: 'Do you know anyone that's gay?'”

“Because nine times out of ten, they don't, when you're hating that hard or hating that much,” he added.

In an interview with the AP to promote his new studio album House On Fire, Herndon acknowledged that he risked his career to come out.

“I knew there was a risk that I would not be able to be in country music, and I had to be okay with that. I didn't know what that looked like. I would have to figure it out. But by the grace of God, I didn't have to do that. The fans were amazing and the industry was amazing,” he said.