Aussie Country Singer Beccy Cole: ’I’m a lesbian.’
Australian country music star Beccy Cole recently said that she is a lesbian on the Australian news documentary series "Australian Story."
Cole said she was inspired to reveal her sexuality on the show because of her 13-year-old son, Ricky, News.com.au points out.
"While you can have your privacy and all that, there are certain times and certain issues where I want to set an example to him," she said. "I have never hidden who I am from him. What started me thinking about revealing this more publicly was he was bringing a friend home and said ’Don’t worry mum, I haven’t said anything.’"
"My 13-year-old son was trying to protect me," she added. "It’s such a crucial time for him and he needs to see his mum standing up."
The singer said she realized that she was gay when she divorced her husband Mike Albeck.
"I guess I do feel like it’s time to tell the world that I’m gay. I mean it’s something that I feel like I haven’t really hidden it, but, yeah... there does feel like the time, this is who I am, this is the rest of who I am," she also said.
Cole, 40, has released six albums and won Female Artist of the year during the 2006 Golden Guitar Country Music Awards. She has also earned seven Golden Guitar awards.
The singer-songwriter said she was concerned that her sexual orientation would have an impact on her fans.
"I was extremely worried about people finding out from an audience point of view," she said. "I thought people wouldn’t want to come and see me. My career was just starting to take off at the time that I realised I was gay, so I was just so scared that I was going to lose that, and I thought, I can’t, I can’t take that risk. It was automatically, ’How do I hide it from everybody?’"
"Australian Story" also notes that Cole says she will never marry again but backs marriage equality.
Cole isn’t the only lesbian country star. In 2010 Chely Wright made headlines when she came out of the closet as she is the first major country singer to publicly come out as gay. Her announcement caused some controversy in the conservative country music community.
Although not gay herself, country superstar Carrie Underwood announced she supported marriage equality in June.
"As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry," Underwood told the British publication the Independent. "I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love." She also told the newspaper that she was brought up Baptist but now attends a non-denominational church.
"Our church is gay friendly," the singer said. "Above all, God wanted us to love others. It’s not about setting rules, or [saying] ’everyone has to be like me’. No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody."
Several conservative fans were outraged by the American Idol winner’s comments and many tweeted their backlash.