Country Star Coming Out

Country star Chely Wright who scored big hits with with “Single White Female” and  “Shut Up and Drive” is announcing she’s lesbian, according to TMZ and confirmed by other sources.  She is the first major country star to come out.

Chely is a strong supporter of US troops: She performed in Iraq right after the fall of Saddam Hussein; wrote the hit “Bumper of My SUV” in response to an irate woman’s comments about Wright’s United States Marine Corp bumper sticker; and was named Woman of the Year by the American Legion Auxiliary for her support of the troops, charity work and career achievements.

Along with her hit tunes, she has written songs for Brad Paisley, Richard Marx and others, and has had successful independent album releases. Additionally, she founded Reading, Writing, and Rhythm Foundation, which encourages musical education and supplies music instruments to schools. In the insert pages of her new CD Lifted Off the Ground she lists groups for her fans to explore:  GLSEN, Interfaith Alliance, Faith In America and her own foundation Reading, Writing and Rhythm.

So what does this mean? Chely’s announcement–which is linked to the May 4 release of her autobiography Like Me and Lifted Off the Ground–has the potential to shift a lot of  mindsets in many parts of the US where country music is big and in the armed forces which has experienced her unwavering devotion.   I bet folks in Fulton, Mississippi–where Constance McMillen lives–know who Chely Wright is.

Chely has joined the board of Faith In America, whose founder Mitchell Gold commented:

Her life experiences drew her to the work FIA is doing. She knows this is a big part of the change we need.

Gold explained the significance of Chely Wright’s announcement within the LGBT community and in America at large:

We often talk about having the right messengers deliver the messages of equality to various audiences.  Well, now we have one, a shining star  that will touch an audience I dare say none of us could ever dream to.

34 Responses to "Country Star Coming Out"
Kelly Canfield | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:06 pm 1

Good for her!


Twain | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:09 pm 2

The bravery continues and says “take that”! to the wingnuts.


TBogg | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:14 pm 3

If you are a country music singer does that still count as being a celebrity? Seems like a bit of a reach…


trademarkdave | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:19 pm 4

Hey, good for her! She’s still an asshole.


Twain | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:23 pm 5
In response to trademarkdave @ 4

Why? I don’t know her at all.


cregan | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:30 pm 6

This is good. No person should withhold their life for any reason.


msmolly | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:30 pm 7

My first reaction to this is, “Yawn. Why should I care.” Sorry…


Loo Hoo. | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:36 pm 8
In response to TBogg @ 3

I offer Kris Kristofferson…


Twain | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:39 pm 9
In response to Loo Hoo. @ 8

And don’t forget k d land started out as a country singer and so many others. Carrie Underwood is hugely popular and has a great voice.


demi | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:39 pm 10
In response to Loo Hoo. @ 8

Dixie Chicks.
(some of these comments are giving me a tummy ache.)


Twain | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:40 pm 11
In response to Twain @ 9

k d LANG, of course.


Loo Hoo. | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:48 pm 12
In response to Twain @ 11

This guy? First I’ve heard of him…


Kelly Canfield | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:48 pm 13
In response to demi @ 10

Me too.


Twain | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:51 pm 14
In response to Loo Hoo. @ 12

Beautiful. She is so great.


Lisa Derrick | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:54 pm 15
In response to msmolly @ 7

Country music is very popular in the US, especially in areas which are less tolerant of LGBT.

If her coming out helps a gay kid find acceptance, makes it possible for a same sex couple to attend prom, helps open minds in the military establishment, that’s a good thing. You may find it a *yawn* but it is actually a pretty important thing.


Eureka Springs | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:54 pm 16

I hope she isn’t expecting an invitation to a country prom anytime soon.


SouthernDragon | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:55 pm 17
In response to Twain @ 14

She’s got the greatest voice.


Margaret | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:56 pm 18

What about K D Lang? She’s pretty countrified, not to mention lesbonic. (Okay, don’t blow crap at me, all of my many, many lesbian friends know I’m not using that as a pejorative but as an endearment)


Margaret | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:56 pm 19
In response to Twain @ 11

Oops! I see Twain beat me to it.


Loo Hoo. | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:58 pm 20
In response to Twain @ 14

Okay, it’s a woman. It showed a different pic/song this time!


Twain | Sunday May 2, 2010 05:58 pm 21
In response to Margaret @ 19

I love “Black Coffee” – her voice is so mellow.


Margaret | Sunday May 2, 2010 06:00 pm 22

This “news” sort of strikes me similarly to when Freddy Mercury came out, i.e. This is news? I remember spending hours trying to convince my friend Liz that Melissa Ethridge is gay and she wasn’t having any of it. When she came out it was pretty anticlimactic to me.


SouthernDragon | Sunday May 2, 2010 06:06 pm 23

DrZen | Sunday May 2, 2010 06:12 pm 24

So wait. In her big hit, she tells us she’s a single white female looking for a man, and we are praising her for what exactly?


SouthernDragon | Sunday May 2, 2010 06:14 pm 25
In response to DrZen @ 24

Singer/songwriter works for me.


Loo Hoo. | Sunday May 2, 2010 06:15 pm 26
In response to SouthernDragon @ 23

Excellent! As is this. I’d forgotten.


Lisa Derrick | Sunday May 2, 2010 06:22 pm 27
In response to DrZen @ 24

Songwriting is a creative art and a skill.

Sexuality isn’t always A or B. A number of people, famous and otherwise, realize–or accept– their sexuality after a period of conforming to (perceived) societal expectations.


TheLurkingMod | Sunday May 2, 2010 08:02 pm 28

bigbubbabulls | Monday May 3, 2010 04:22 am 29

Never heard of her. Never will.


msmolly | Monday May 3, 2010 05:44 am 30
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 15

If her coming out helps a gay kid find acceptance, makes it possible for a same sex couple to attend prom, helps open minds in the military establishment, that’s a good thing. You may find it a *yawn* but it is actually a pretty important thing.

I didn’t mean to be unfeeling. But who is “out” seems to me to be the stuff of supermarket tabloids and breathless celebrity gossip, and about as interesting as the latest “Brangelina” news.


mwfolsom | Monday May 3, 2010 06:13 am 31

Excuse me but K. D. Lang came out years ago -

What is she in the Country Music World – chopped liver?


uwyoalum | Monday May 3, 2010 06:54 am 32

Good for her. Not a fan. Her song “Bumper of My SUV” makes me throw up a little in my mouth every time I hear it.


mzchief | Monday May 3, 2010 09:11 am 33
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 15

e.g. Maybe this will open some more minds who will now support TrevorProject.Org ?


Clavis | Monday May 3, 2010 09:45 am 34

I find it laughable that a group that celebrates “faith” so much that it’s in their name thinks they have any standing from which to preach to others about living a life based upon reason, tolerance, compassion and valuing the real rather than the imaginary.


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