A number of country stars turned to social media to express their support for CMT host Cody Alan after he came out in an emotional post to social media on Thursday (Jan. 12).

The 44-year-old host of CMT's Hot 20 CountdownCMT After MidNite and CMT Radio Live came out in a post to Instagram, saying, “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 continues, adding that he's “finally comfortable enough for everyone to know this truth about me,” and that he hopes the news won’t change fans’ perceptions about him.

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“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.”

Country stars including Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Dierks Bentley, Dan + Shay and more turned to Twitter to express their support for Alan, who is one of the most popular and beloved personalities in country music.

GLAAD Vice President of Programs Zeke Stokes also lauded Alan for his courage in a statement, saying, “Millions of radio listeners, television viewers and country music fans love and look up to Cody Alan. And that’s exactly why Cody’s decision to come out matters — because visibility brings about acceptance. By sharing his story, Cody is helping listeners and fans get to know someone who shares their passion for country music and southern values, and who also happens to be gay. At a time when America can sometimes seem so divided, it’s the common ground we all share that brings us together, and that’s the power of sharing one’s story.”

Alan says he was inspired by Chely Wright and Ty Herndon, both of whom became passionate advocates for the LGBT community after coming out. He hopes that he, too, can serve as an example.

“I would like to be a voice that can speak to people who are facing challenges that we all face, for struggles that we all come across, because we’re all going through something,” he tells People. “To be able to say: There is life, and you can find it, and take steps to improve yourself based on what you know… If I could be someone who’s vocal about facing struggles and overcoming them, I’d like to be.”

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