Country music fans have always liked Cody Alan. But there was something about him that always seemed hidden – until today. The handsome CMT and iHeartRadio host came out of the closet on Instagram.
“Though my TV or my radio persona was always that of a happy guy, there was this underlying ache inside of me for years, so I decided either I was gonna do something about it, or I was gonna live with this layer of misery underneath that happy face on the TV,” says Alan, 44, in an interview with PEOPLE.
In his post, he shares a heart filled letter to fans and followers about his long journey of self-acceptance.
“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,” he posted.
“And I’m finally comfortable enough for everyone to know this truth about me. 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.”
Earlier in life, he shares he got married at 24 as part of suppressing his true identify and even starting a family. “I struggled with my sexuality starting at a very young age,” says Alan. “I remember having distinct feelings early in my life. I knew this about myself, and I had a really hard time dealing with it. I was so ashamed of who I was.”
But now Alan is in a different space, feeling more comfortable about who he is. Hoping to inspire others, just as he was inspired by country stars Chely Wright and Ty Herndon.
“I remember thinking how proud I was of both of them — how much courage that took for each of them to say they were gay and to share their lives with the world,” Alan shares.
“It did help me, because I think every voice that speaks up is one more voice that leads the next, and it’s great to celebrate this together. Wherever you come from, whoever you are, whatever cards you’ve been dealt: You can find the kind of love, peace and happiness in this life you deserve.”