Cody Alan, the host of CMT's Hot 20 Countdown, came out gay on Thursday.

Alan, 44, announced his sexuality for the first time publicly in an Instagram post.

“2017. As we start a new year, there is something I want to share with you. You see, I’m gay,” Alan captioned a photo of himself. “This is not a choice I made, but something I've known about myself my whole life. Through life's twists and turns, marriage, divorce, fatherhood, successes, failures – I've landed on this day, a day when I'm happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. And I’m finally comfortable enough for everyone to know this truth about me.”

“As we continue our journey, I hope this news won't change how you see me. I’m still the same Cody I always was. You just know a little more about me now. My hope for the future is to live the most honest, authentic, loving, and open life possible. Here's to being happy with yourself, no matter who you are, who you love, where you come from, or what cards life has dealt you. Thanks again. With much heart, Cody.”

In an interview with PEOPLE, Alan explained that he struggled with his sexuality starting at “a very young age.”

“I was so ashamed of who I was,” said Alan, who has a son and daughter with his ex-wife.

He's currently dating occupational therapist Michael Smith.

“It's awesome now because I have a partner, my ex has a boyfriend, and with our kids, we have this really beautiful, blended, loving, modern family that works for us,” he said.