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Out Country Singer Ty Herndon: The Support I've Received Since Coming Out 'Blew My Mind'

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Ty Herndon hanging with friends backstage at the Grand Ole Opry after Monday's show (Via Facebook fan page)

Country singer Ty Herndon has been feeling the love after his surprise coming out last week. In a follow-up interview with People magazine, he says the positive reaction he's received "blew my mind" and he's been overwhelmed by the support he's gotten from his fans as well as out show folk like Ricky Martin, Lance Bass, Chely Wright and even Leann Rimes. 

Since his statement last week, Herndon has had two public performances filled with emotion, tears, and even a little bit of history. Herndon's first performance after his surprise announcement last week was to a sold out crowd in Robinson, Illinois on Saturday night. It was, he said, an emotional show that ended with a standing ovation. Then on Monday night, Herndon took part in a Christmas benefit for kids at the Grand Ole Opry making him the the first out male country artist to appear on the famed stage.

"My knees were shaking!" he recalled, choking up a bit. "Walking out on the Grand Ole Opry stage as an open, free, happy, godly gay man is not something I thought I'd see in my lifetime. We knew that history was being made up there, and it was humbling."

As he adjusts to his new role as an out/loud/proud performer, Herndon states he is also looking forward to being a force for change in parts of the country where being gay is still a challenge. "There's so much work to be done in the South with all these kids that are struggling so greatly with finding love and support and finding a place to go to feel loved and supported." 

Herndon says he is feeling especially thankful this Thanksgiving week for all the support he's received and is looking forward to spending a quiet holiday in Nashville with his family and his partner.


Gay Iconography: Still Loca For Ricky Martin

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When legendary newswoman Barbara Walters looked back at her career, her biggest regret was an interview with Ricky Martin.

"In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was. A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now I feel it was an inappropriate question."

Martin, who is credited with kickstarting the Latin pop movement, wouldn’t actually come out until a decade later. In 2010, while working on his memoir, Me, Martin posted a lengthy message on his website about embracing his truth. It ended simply: “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” Having dedicated his time to many causes, including disaster relief and ending human trafficking, his coming out opened opportunities for him to advocate for LGBT issues, eventually earning him a Vito Russo award from GLAAD in 2011.

”Something as simple as standing at that (gay rights group's) dinner and saying, ‘I’m gay,’ creates so may emotions I’ve never felt before,” he told OUT magazine in 2010. “I didn’t do it earlier because of fear, and bottom line it was all in my head. I was seduced by fear and I was sabotaging most of my life—my music, my relationships with my friends, with my family, with everybody. That’s something I need to share because I know that a lot of people are going through what I went through, no matter what their age, and fear cannot control us."

In addition to his music career, Martin has credits from stage and the small screen. Check out some of our favorites, AFTER THE JUMP

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Ricky Martin Rocks 5 Looks in His Speakeasy-Themed 'Adios': MUSIC VIDEO

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"Adios" is the first release off Ricky Martin's forthcoming studio album due next year and the video finds Martin stepping into all kinds of roles at a speakeasy as bouncer, bartender, mobster, performer, and police officer, each more dashing than the next.

Check out the clip, and watch Ricky's facial hair come and go, AFTER THE JUMP...

The clip was directed by Ethan Lader, most well-known for directing Bruno Mars in his music video "Just The Way You Are".

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Guy Candy: 20 Famous Men Who Got Shirtless and Sexy on Instagram This Week — PHOTOS

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Out L.A. Galaxy player Robbie Rogers showed off his new backpack on Instagram in the best way possible this week.

Also, in this week's guy candy:

Russell Tovey, Ricky Martin, Alex Minsky, Brad Goreski, Scott Eastwood, Tom Daley, Flume and Chet Faker, Derrick Gordon, Harry Shum Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Dan Savage, Terry Miller, Darryl Stephens, Rory McIlroy, Jake Shears, Gilles Marini, Dan Osborne (below), Blake Skjellerup, and the Flaunt flavor of the week, Nick Jonas.

Enjoy, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ricky Martin Debuts 'Stache, New Single 'Adios' - VIDEO

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The "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer is feeling loco again. Martin yesterday shared his latest track, "Adios" with fans on YouTube. Meanwhile, just days before, Martin took to Instagram to say adios to his scruff and hello to a newly highlighted moustache. 

Check out a pic of Ricky's newly manicured whiskers and listen to his latest song, AFTER THE JUMP...

(Image via Instagram)

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Ian Thorpe Is Not Dating Ricky Martin, Says Manager

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Contrary to what you may have heard on Friday, Australian Olympian swimmer Ian Thorpe is not in a relationship with singer Ricky Martin. At least, not according to Thorpe's manager that is.

Peter Ford, an Australian celebrity commentator, had the rumor police scrambling yesterday after reporting that Thorpe and Martin had accepted a $500,000 magazine deal to do a tell-all about their new relationship status. The news quickly spread to other gossip sites and outlets.

When asked about the alleged power couple by Private Sydney, Thorpe's manager shot down the rumor, saying "I think someone is having you on." The paper also confirmed that Thorpe was nowhere near Martin during the singer's stay in Sydney for the most recent season of Australia's version of The Voice - on which Martin serves as a judge.

Back in July, Australian tabloids spread the rumor that Martin had 'mentored' Thorpe prior to his coming out this summer. 


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