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Brooke Eden on Coming Out in the Country Music World: I Was ‘Told I Would Lose My Career’ (Exclusive)

Country singer Brooke Eden knew she had no choice but to live her life as an out and proud queer woman, exclusively telling Us Weekly that “country music is about the truth.”Getting to that point took time, however. Eden confessed to Us during CMA Fest in Nashville on Saturday, June 8 that she was told coming out would end her prospects as a country artist.

“There has been such little representation [of LGBTQIA+ people] for such a long time, especially in country music, and there hasn’t been visibility because, you know, when people started to come out, they were told that you would lose your career,” she said. “I mean, I was told I would lose my career in the beginning.”

Eden, 35, was cowed by that fear at first, saying she kept her relationship with wife Hilary Hoover under wraps for five years. Since coming out, she’s found an extremely supportive community that includes some of the biggest names in country music.

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Eden’s wedding to Hoover was officiated by Trisha Yearwood, whose husband Garth Brooks sang the couple down the aisle to his version of the Bob Dylan-penned standard “Make You Feel My Love.”

Eden Brooke
Brooke Eden Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images

“Trisha and Garth have been such incredible supporters,” Eden told Us. “When I sang ‘She’s in Love With the Girl’ with her at the [Grand Old] Opry, we had just gotten engaged, so we get done with the Opry and we just had so many emotions going on and Trisha was like, ‘Girl, what am I doing at this wedding? Am I a flower girl? Am I a bridesmaid? Do I officiate? Like what can I do?’”

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Yearwood and Brooks have long been allies to the LGBTQIA+ community; Brooks, for his part, won a GLAAD Media Award in 1993 for his anthem “We Shall Be Free.” The song was controversial upon its release, but Brooks has since performed it at the Millennium March on Washington, a gay rights demonstration in the nation’s capital in 2000, and at the inaugural concert for President Barack Obama in 2009.

Eden, for her part, is certainly feeling the love.

“That’s what Pride Month is all about,” she said on Saturday. “Country music is about the truth. And for so long, you know, we haven’t been able to tell our truth and there’s so many people that haven’t felt represented here. So, to be able to tell our truth and to just have that inclusivity that is country music, that’s what it’s all about for me.”

Reporting by Jeremy Parsons

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