Orville Peck Reveals Boyfriend in Heartfelt Awards Speech

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Country music just got a little more sparkly this weekend as masked crooner Orville Peck revealed his longtime partner during a deeply emotional acceptance speech at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York. The event, which celebrates LGBTQ+ visibility and advocacy, was the perfect stage for such a personal revelation, with none other than Jennifer Lawrence presenting Peck the prestigious Vito Russo Award.

For years, whispers and speculation bubbled under the surface about Peck’s romantic life, paralleling the enigmatic aura of his fringed mask and his hauntingly deep vocals. However, the curtain was finally lifted on Saturday May 11, Out reports, when Peck, known for his unique blend of traditional and queer country tunes, took a moment to publicly acknowledge his partner, William “Billy” Mikelson.

In a speech that was both a celebration of love and a reflection on the evolving landscape of country music, Peck shared, “I’ve never understood why country music hasn’t felt welcoming to LGBTQ+ people. The songs I loved were about heartache and longing—feelings many of us in the queer community know all too well.”

Jennifer Lawrence, a friend of both Peck and Mikelson, provided a touching introduction, highlighting Billy’s journey of self-acceptance. “Billy grew up in a religious household and struggled with accepting his sexuality for a long time,” she shared. “When he met Orville, he described falling in love as ‘healing.’”

This marked a significant moment for Peck, who not only spoke about the inclusivity struggles within the country music scene but also used his platform to thank those who helped broaden the genre. “I would also like to thank my beautiful, encouraging family, friends, and my incredible partner, Billy. Thank you for encouraging me to be myself, which is a skill that I hope I can pass on to others,” Peck expressed, amidst the cheers from an emotional audience.

Related: Peck, Nelson’s Gay Country: Cowboys Are Fond of Each Other

The couple, who made their red carpet debut earlier in March at the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 32nd Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, has since enjoyed the spotlight at various events, including the GLAAD Awards itself. Like Peck, Mikelson has maintained a low profile, but this joint appearance and acknowledgment at such a high-profile event mark a new chapter for them both.

As country music continues to be reclaimed by queer artists and people of color, Peck’s voice is not just one of musical innovation but also of personal truth and resilience. This heartfelt reveal at the GLAAD Media Awards isn’t just about who Peck loves; it’s a statement about the power of visibility and the importance of spaces that celebrate all forms of love and identity.

So here’s to Orville Peck and Billy Mikelson, who remind us that behind the masks we all wear, there’s a story of love, acceptance, and perhaps a bit of country music waiting to be told. We’re rooting for them and the trails they’re blazing, both in music and in life. Cheers to love, y’all!

Related: Watch: Country Singer Cameron Hawthorn Comes Out as Gay

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