Australian country singer Beccy Cole will come out publicly as a lesbian for the first time in televised interview tonight.
Cole was interviewed with her two country singer friends, Kasey Chambers and Gina Jeffreys, for Australian Story, a regular program on national TV channel ABC.
‘I think for years Beccy has had this secret, that she really does want people to know about but didn’t really know when was the right time and how to do it too,’ Jeffreys says on the program.
Cole told Sydney Morning Herald that she is ‘pretty nervous’ about the show, but ‘outweighing that is the need to be myself and to provide that example for my son’.
Cole has a 13-year-old son, Ricky, with fellow country musician Mick Albeck. She said:
‘My son has known this about me all his life. And I was sparked to do this [program] one day when he told me he had a mate coming over and he said, “Don’t worry, he doesn't know”. And I thought, gosh, he shouldn't feel like he has to hide anything.’
Cole was married to Albeck for two years in the 1990s before she realized she was gay. ‘For me it's obviously been a really long journey,’ she said to Adelaide Now. ‘In that sense it's been the longest coming out ever.’
Cole added that she thought it was the right time to come out publicly because of the current gay marriage debate.
‘I think that marriage itself is a personal decision; people should be able to marry who they love, gay, straight or otherwise,’ she said. ‘Having said that I wouldn't get married again. I've been a bride. I married a fella, it lasted less than two years.’
Cole said she was single at the moment, between the ‘wrong women’. She added ‘that’s the part of all this that I haven't got right yet ... (but) I'm pretty busy and on the road a lot. It’s not necessarily something I'm looking for.’
The seven Golden Guitar (Country Music Awards Australia) winning singer said she was a little worried about how her fans in ‘regional Australia’ would accept her. ‘But I’m pretty proud of Australian society,’ she said. ‘I’ve watched the gay marriage debate very carefully and there's a lot of support.’
Watch a preview of tonight’s Australian Story here.
Watch Cole joke about her divorce at Tamworth Country Music Festival here: