"I’ve known straight and gay people all my life. I can’t tell the difference."From: NewNowNext
While not traditionally thought of as LGBT-friendly, the country music scene has become much more inclusive in recent years—as singers like Billy Gilman, Ty Herndon and Brandy Clark have all come out.
CMT host Cody Alan also revealed he was gay just last month, and was met with overwhelming support.
When it comes to setting an example for fans, allies are just as important as out stars themselves, and there are plenty in the community who are supportive. Tune into 12 country music stars who are proving the genre is more inclusive than ever.
Brooks was an ally long before other country musicians even considered it an option: The country star won a GLAAD award back in 1993 for his song “We Shall Be Free,” in which he croons about being “free to love anyone we choose.” He also performed alongside George Michael at an Equality Rocks concert back in 2000.
The Grammy winner credited his late sister, Betsy Smittle, who was a lesbian, with inspiring him to speak out for equality. “If you’re in love, you’ve got to follow your heart,” he told George magazine in 1999. “And just trust that God will explain to us why we sometimes fall in love with people of the same sex.”