Willie Nelson chose Valentine's Day to release the gay-themed song "Cowboys are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other)."

Willie Nelson chose Valentine's Day to release the gay-themed song "Cowboys are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other)." The country music icon premiered the track this morning (Feb. 14) on Howard Stern's Sirius Satellite Radio show as it was being made exclusively available via Apple's iTunes music store.

Nelson recorded the song, written in 1981 by songwriter Ned Sublette, last year at his home studio in Perdernales, Texas, around the time he first mentioned it during an appearance on Stern's former terrestrial radio show. The timing of the song's release coincides with a time when the idea of gay cowboys is being discussed throughout the media due to the success of the Academy Award-nominated film "Brokeback Mountain."

Coincidentally, Nelson contributed the track "He Was a Friend of Mine" to the movie's Verve soundtrack, which peaked at No. 54 on The Billboard 200.

"The song's been in the closet for 20 years," Nelson says in a statement released to the Dallas Morning News. "The timing's right for it to come out. I'm just opening the door."

Adding to the track's poignancy is David Anderson, Nelson's longtime tour manager, who revealed his homosexuality to Nelson two years ago.

"This song obviously has special meaning to me in more ways than one," Anderson tells the Dallas Morning News. "I want people to know more than anything -- gay, straight, whatever -- just how cool Willie is and ... his way of thinking, his tolerance, everything about him."

A video "Cowboys are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other)" will be created by the Broken Lizard comedy troupe ("Super Troopers," "Club Dread") with plans to release it exclusively through iTunes.