Beccy Cole appeared on Australian Story this week and revealed something that wouldn’t have surprised many people who are involved in Australian country music circles, but would, no doubt, have surprised some of her fans. As this is a blog about Australian country music (mostly) I thought it would be remiss to not say something. And what I have to say is, ‘Good on you, Beccy!’ Beccy’s revelation took courage, because she would have known that some of her audience would have trouble adjusting to her news. But it is them¬†who need adjusting, not her. Beccy Cole is no different now than she was five years ago or five weeks or five days ago. All she’s done is changed the information we have about her.

There are people asking why she felt the need to ‘out’ herself, and I would think there are some very good reasons, such as the many gay and lesbian teenagers who feel completely alone – often desperately so – and think there is no one who understands them. Many of them are in rural and regional communities where country music is very popular and Beccy is a person who is admired. If Beccy’s ‘outing’ helps just one of those teenagers to realise they’re not alone, she’s done a good thing. But I bet there will be a lot more than one. And I certainly hope Beccy finds the love and happiness she richly deserves. She brings light and laughter to every venue she plays – may we all offer her the same in return.

As a final note: what really stood out for me in the program was the strength of Beccy’s friendships with Kasey Chambers and Gina Jeffreys. In this country we are blessed to have such individuals of great talent and strength to be our cultural leaders (which is what they are, even if it’s only for the country music culture), and their friendships are a reminder of how strong, too, the country music community is.