Cody Alan, a host and personality on Country Music Television and CMT Radio, just came out as gay in a recent interview with People magazine.
"Though my TV or my radio persona was always that of a happy guy, there was this underlying ache inside of me for years, so I decided either I was gonna do something about it, or I was gonna live with this layer of misery underneath that happy face on the TV," the 44-year-old father of two told the celebrity news magazine about his decision to come out of the closet after years of struggling with having to hide his sexuality. "Once I realized it was okay to accept the truth, that it wasn’t my choice, it was a lot easier to start figuring out where to go with my life next."
In an emotional Facebook post to his fans and viewers earlier today, Alan had this to say:
"2017. As we start a new year, there is something I want to share with you. You see, I’m gay. 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. Thanks for following me and supporting me over the years. As we continue our journey, I hope this news won't change how you see me."
Alan's coming out adds much needed queer representation in country music and its media, which is still seen by many as being traditionally conservative. (The likes of country superstars Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton, who are very pro-LGBT, haven't necessarily been able to shake the genre's old-fashioned reputation.) Alan's openness about his sexuality contributes to a positive shakeup within the genre in recent years that includes young out singers like Steve Grand and allies like Kacey Musgraves making country a more inclusive and LGBT-friendly one.
"Country music is so diverse and perhaps the most supportive music industry that exists," Alan told People. "My story’s very real, and that’s what country music is: I live a real life that’s had twists and turns, ups and downs, and it’s kind of a country song in and of itself!"