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CMT Hot 20 Countdown host Cody Alan came out as gay on Thursday with a personal social media post saying he wants to “live the most honest, authentic, loving, and open life possible.”
Alan also produces iHeartRadio’s CMT After MidNite and CMT Radio Live and has had an accomplished career in broadcast, earning the honor of the Academy of Country Music’s National On-Air Personality in 2010 and 2013.
He formerly was married with two children (now teenagers), as Rolling Stone reports, and came out to his family and went through the divorce while still remaining close to them.
“This is not a choice I made, but something I’ve known about myself my whole life,” he wrote in his post. “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.”
Alan also shared his thoughts on coming out with Rolling Stone, explaining why he decided now was the time to make the announcement.
“I wanted to be honest with myself and my country-music family,” he said. “I think being anything but honest falls short of a true and happy, open life. For me, [coming out] was really just about, ‘Let me be as honest as I can.’ “
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. 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
A photo posted by Cody Alan (@cmtcody) on
Alan said the response to his announcement has been overwhelmingly positive and praised country-music fans for their openness and acceptance.
“From a professional standpoint, you do consider all the variables, and you think about how other people would be affected by it,” he said. “I realized that this could have a great, positive impact on many people who may be country-music fans and may feel like they don’t fit in. But they see a guy like me on TV who is country and gay, and they recognize that there’s a place for you here, and that country music is a warm, welcoming space.”
Read his full statement here.
A version of this story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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