GOP Tennessee Lawmaker Derails Resolution to Honor Out Country Star TJ Osborne

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday May 5, 2021
Originally published on May 5, 2021

TJ Osborne
TJ Osborne  (Source:Screenshot/CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube)

A Tennessee lawmaker in the state's House of Representatives derailed a resolution to honor out singer TJ Osborne after the state Senate had given unanimous approval.

The lawmaker in question - Chair of the House Republican Caucus Jeremy Faison - gave only a vague reason for the move, citing "some concerns," Billboard said. But some fans - including fellow country star Kacey Musgraves - think they know exactly why the gesture was stymied.

Variety reports that this theory fits Faison's "history of supporting anti-LGBTQ legislation".

The Osborne Brothers responded in a tweet of their own, though with a hand of friendship.

Faison agreed in a Twitter response "to break bread" with the brothers.

TJ Osborne came out earlier this year in a TIME Magazine interview in which he said he'd known the truth about himself since he was a boy and while he is personally "very comfortable being gay," he hadn't been ready to come out publicly sooner.

"I find myself being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don't have a problem with," the 36-year-old singer said. "That feels so strange."

Not long after, he made an appearance on "Ellen," telling host Ellen DeGeneres that as soon as he came out, he "instantaneously felt like I wish I had done this a long time ago."

DeGeneres sympathized, nothing that "straight people don't ever have to shove something down and then all of a sudden say to someone, 'I'm straight!' "

"I was asked, like, 'Why do you have to do this?' " Osborne said in response. "And in a perfect world I wish I didn't have to."

Osborne repeated those sentiments in a subsequent appearance on "CBS This Morning," saying that before he emerged from the closet, "I didn't really understand the magnitude of how much people cared about me and loved me and supported me.

"Had I known that the whole time, I would have done it probably a long time ago and saved myself a lot of strife," the country music star added.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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