By Leah Wright | Photos Courtesy Adam Mac
Ten years ago, Adam Mac could not have imagined that he would one day be an openly gay man in the world of country music. Mac grew up in a small town in Kentucky, and although he had a relatively normal childhood, he knew there was something different about him. He was very young, 6 or 7 years old, when he recognized he did not have the same feelings for girls as he did for boys. In his super religions hometown, he was taught those type of feelings “weren’t okay”.
Mac credits his friend Christina for helping him burst out of the closet. She told him she knew he was gay and wanted him to be honest with himself. After moving to Nashville and beginning a serious relationship, he could no longer deny that he was gay. He was shocked by how accepting his straight guy friends were and said they were more upset he had not told them sooner. “I know I am super fortunate to have had the coming out experience that I had. I’m very thankful that so many people were so loving and accepting of me.”
To anyone on the fence about coming out to their loved ones, Mac says, “Listen, there is no textbook way of doing this, but the weight I felt being lifted off my shoulders when I was completely honest with myself about who I am was a freeing, indescribable feeling. It’s a feeling I hope everyone who’s struggling with coming out feels someday. At the same time, I would never rush anyone into doing it. It has to be on your own time – when you’re ready.”
In May, Mac released the single and video for his new song, “Black and White”. He wrote the song on the eve of the 2017 presidential inauguration. Like many, he was not sure what the future held for the LGBT+ community and was admittedly scared. The words began to flow out of him and 45 minutes later, he had a completed song that had given him hope for the future.
“You can’t tell me who to love/you can’t tell me who to hate/you can’t tell me we’re a generation/that came all this way/to give up the fight/who didn’t use the light/to magnify/that fine grey line/between black and white”
Mac says the response to the song has been overwhelming, and he’s received positive messages of support from all over the world. He wants everything to understand that someone who is LGBT+ is no different than anyone else in most ways. You may not agree with who they love, but there’s no reason to hate. The key is finding the commonalities and growing from there.
Michael Jackson’s passion and Chris Stapleton’s storytelling are two of the main influences Mac says have helped him to become the musician he is today. He’s hopeful that in ten years he’ll still be releasing music and there will be even more openly gay artists in the country music genre. Some of his friends recently started an organization named RNBW (@RNBWNASH) to bring LGBT+ songwriters and artists into focus. Mac believes their efforts will open the door for more gay artists to launch their music careers without the need to hide their true selves.