Chely Wright Wins The Toaster, First Country Singer Out of Closet

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Chely Wright Wins The Toaster, First Country Singer Out of Closet

Is this what we all got breathless for?

People jumped their own Cinco de Gayo gun, posting today:

Country singer Chely Wright's reasoning was sound. "There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality," she tells PEOPLE. "I wasn't going to be the first."

But now Wright is changing her tune. "Nothing in my life has been more magical than the moment I decided to come out," she says.

Wright, 39, recalls of her youth in the South: "I don't have a memory in my life that doesn't include the dream of making music." But during her childhood and rapid ascent to fame in the county world, she also experienced a community in which homosexuality was shunned. "I hid everything for my music," says Wright.

The singer-songwriter, who has won both an Academy of Country Music and a Country Music award, will later this week release her memoir, Like Me, as well as her first album in five years, Lifted off the Ground.

She'll also appear on the Today Show Wednesday to discuss her personal journey.



Comments [22]

Rusty's picture

Seriously‽

I get the feeling that the women in the Park are "let down" by the news that it's only Chely Wright. Can't we be happy for her? And the little gay girls and boys who are her fans? And their parents? It's country music fer crissakes! And she's a major artist.

I like older country (Hank Williams Sr.) but I'll end up buying her album mostly because some asshat knuckledragger will refuse. I did the same thing with the Dixie Chicks and that first album turned me into a fan.

Dorothy Snarker has some nice photos and info (and the obligatory tank top photos).

http://dorothysurrenders.blogspot.com/2010/05/who-hell-is-chely-wright.html

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Conlite's picture

Sorry Rusty, that I did not

Sorry Rusty, that I did not express my enthusiasm!  I am a country music fan from cowboy country.  Yes it is a HUGE deal when any country star comes out of the closet!  (Esp. since you can just about count all those out on one hand.)  It gets my redneck neighbours all riled up, but it means they can't ignore the issue - since it is now in their own musical back yard.  It also gives young rural gay kids isolated from city gay culture centers (and mostly with no family support) a picture of "me" to help them sort out their identity.

I especially like the fact that she presents femme in her video, since a LOT of country folks I know think lesbian = k.d. lang type person, since that is their only exposure.  I know, we live under a rock, but that is the media reality around here.

Tex's picture

May the 4th Be With You, my friend!

Seriously? Yep, seriously! Chely Wright is not Alex P. Keaton's momma! We all wished her well in our comments - we did. My thoughts on the early sneak of Ms Wright is that the PR plan was gonna back fire on 'em big time. The tease got the guessing going - too much guessing going. Guess to the likes of The Queen, Judge Judy, Christina.....They had to go ahead and 'leak it' so the 'who?' didn't turn into a snicker and yawn fest. God bless Chely and hers, but it was more for publicity to sell her book and upcoming way over due cd than it was for 'it's okay to be gay'!  IMHO, of course....

Wink

Twitter Time @kdhales

Rusty's picture

it's a big fuckin deal

"We all wished her well in our comments" is only accurate if "we all" is is you, Minnie, and me. Even the original blog lacked any hint of congratulations.

To steal from Joe Biden it's a big fuckin deal every time anyone comes out because it makes it that much easier for the next.

Does all of our conclusion-jumping have to assume the worst motives?

"more for publicity to sell her book and upcoming way over due cd than it was for 'it's okay to be gay'!  IMHO, of course"

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Grace Moon's picture

I don't

believe celebrities coming out makes for a big fucking deal.
maybe for country music it is because everyone is a right-wing christian homophobe?

I'm more impressed by all the nobodies who come out to their friends and family daily - who wont get that book deal for the big reveal.

that Chely and her PR guy turned it into a stunt is what is so underwhelming and unimpressive.

 

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Rusty's picture

Sorry, but I believe it's a

Sorry, but I believe it's a BIG FUCKING DEAL for anyone in any situation to come out. And I stand by the reasoning I cited earlier—Because of the nature of her fan base no one knows how this will effect her career.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Grace Moon's picture

fine

- just splainin mine.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Tex's picture

Well, just maybe.

She hasn't had a cd out in seven years. She, supposedly, has been living with another woman for those seven years. Guess I'm gonna have to ask, "Why now?"

Twitter Time @kdhales

Rusty's picture

makes sense to me

Some people have to work through their issues before they come out. And I can see how working through issues also wakes up both the musical and literary muses (musi?). It is perfectly reasonable to me that she ended up with a threefer.

And she has no idea what this will do to her career. Publicity doesn't always translate into book/cd sales.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Tex's picture

Oscar Wilde.....

"There is only thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

 

Twitter Time @kdhales

Joanne Robertson's picture

.

.

Tex's picture

Anticlimactic, but

hope all goes well with her and hers. Still don't want to buy the book or her music. A bit too much manipulation for me, and I've never been fond of her tunes.

We (Vpers) do have an extremely interesting "coming out' list....lesbo wish list....

 

Twitter Time @kdhales

Rusty's picture

Welcome

Welcome, congratulations, and don't let the f'tards get you down.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Avar's picture

I was hoping for K.T

I was hoping it was going to be K.T. Tunstall. I am having a huge party if she ever comes out ( ok, I know she is married but a girl can hope, right?)

Anyone else who comes out this year will just be gravy since Jennifer Knapp came out. I started listening to her when I was a 12 year old "struggling with homosexual thoughts", as the church said. My Mom gave me her tapes and a  CD so I would have a wholesome female role model...HA!Talk about an instant crush.

I am an agnostic now but I still love J-Knapp. I have been waiting for her to come out (and back) for years and years. I haven't had time to throw a major party to celebrate her outing herself, but I did drink a few beers with some friends while we watched her on Larry King. She was epic.

Grace Moon's picture

yeah seriously

that would have been nice.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

minniesota's picture

Bienvenido

I never heard of Chely Wright until all of this arose in the past few days. But, no matter. I wish her days full of gay magic.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

MacLass_19's picture

Hah

This is my gf's, getting into the mood, song!  Who knew.   Laughing out loud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofdanYgN2A8

I need to ask my baby if she already knew this. I have zero gaydar, my gf is a gaydar satellite receiving station!!  lmao

Kelly McCartney's picture

Except...

She's not the first.

Kristen Hall, as a founding member of Sugarland, was a huge star and a big dyke all at the same time.

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

Conlite's picture

Um, doesn't k.d. lang count

Um, doesn't k.d. lang count as a country singer too?  They put her in the country music section at Walmart.

Kelly McCartney's picture

Totally counts!

She helped me come out. Although she had sort of moved out of the country realm by the time she came out officially. But, yes, let's keep her on the list. My head was in the more recent times.

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

Rusty's picture

Kathy Dawn

I know she wasn't out yet, but I was just dropping by to add KD to the thread:

1989 * Grammy Award — Best Country Vocal Collaboration for "Crying" (shared with Roy Orbison)

1990 * Grammy Award — Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Absolute Torch And Twang"

On Shadowland she sang with Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn and Brenda Lee (about as country as you get)

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

MacLass_19's picture

I'm a HUGE country music lover...

I remember Hall filing a lawsuit against Jennifer Nettles and the record company[?]. Hall stated that leaving the band was not her choice...

Their early music, imo, was their best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y75lVEv7Tqw

I was kinda hoping that Kenny Chesney would be crawling out of the closet...   Laughing out loud