Bil Browning

Country singer Chely Wright to come out next week

Filed By Bil Browning | May 02, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Chely Wright, coming out of the closet, country music, country singer, lesbian, lesbian celebrity, LGBT community, Single White Female

The internet has been full of rumors and ideas about who would be coming out on the cover of People magazine next week and TMZ has the inside scoop. Country singer Chely Wright, chely-wright-picture.jpg39, will come out of the closet publicly and announce that she's joining the board of Faith In America.

Wright, who scored a #1 hit with "Single White Female" in 1999 and was the first entertainer to perform in Iraq after the US invasion, is the first popular country singer to come out of the closet. She also has a new book, Like Me, that hits shelves next week and a soon-to-be-released album: Lifted Off the Ground. Sources tell TBP the liner notes for the album will include a list of pro-LGBT resources - including GLSEN, Interfaith Alliance, and Faith In America.

Known as a devout Christian, the close association with Faith In America is a natural fit for the country superstar. "Her life experiences drew her to the work FIA is doing," Mitchell Gold, Faith In America's founder, told me. "She knows this is a big part of the change we need."

Video of Wright's hit plus why her coming out is significant after the jump.

"Chely has made a commitment, like me, that not one more kid should go through what we went through. We often talk about having the right messengers deliver the messages of equality to various audiences," Gold said. "Well, now we have one - a shining star - that will touch an audience I dare say none of us could ever dream to. I think this is going to be significant."

Cathy Renna, a lesbian public relations guru who's assisted many celebrities in coming out, also thinks that Wright's disclosure will make a positive impact. "Chely Wright's coming out is impactful in ways that most activists, coastal and blue state dwellers and cynics just will not get: this is a major country star who is true to her faith and wiling to talk about the pain caused by the closet and the religious bigotry she has experienced," Renna said.

"Chely reaches an audience that a lot of people would want to write off, but if we are truly committed to changing the world for the better for LGBT people in the long run, we must have the guts to talk to the Bible belt," she continued. "There are ways to talk about these issues and make people realize that the root of their fears and prejudice come from their religious upbringing."

So what do you think? Will Wright's coming out be significant?

Chely Wright - Single, White, Female

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I agree with Cathy Renna. If Chely Wright really is as big a deal in the country community as she is being made out to be, I wonder if perhaps it wont have more impact than if some Hollywood person came out, esp someone that ppl already think is gay.

And the flip side is that Chely will have a much worse time of it than the Hollywood ppl due to the social sphere in which she is immersed and the ppl who are her fans. We saw this recently with Jennifer Knapp, where she was judged by her community right on Larry King.

Maybe after enough folks like these come out, the views of the fundamentalist Christian community will soften, but it will be rough for the first ones.

This is really great news and if this occurs, I applaud her bravery in coming out in what is considered to be 'America's mainstream music', the country music industry. It's my hope that she'll be supported publicly by her peers as well and it's important that the gay media such as myself and the gay community, rally to applaud her bravery in coming out and supporting her career. The more positive personalities that come out, the better for more people realize that the gay community is everyday, accessible and no different than anyone else and I pray on the road to more equality and accessible.

Bambi Weavil - Making a positive impact in the gay community. Make yours.

I will forget that I read this, so it will be a surprise to me next week when it is announced. Just saying... ;)

I think this is just what we need to make a difference in this country. She does reach a different audience with her music. An audience that has never really had anyone to identify with as gay. Good for her!

Maybe this will be someone that has heard of her (I haven't before now)...but that remains to be seen.

I find it a bit appalling that her "announcement" has been gossip for weeks and is used to sell a book and a new album.

I'm glad she can make a buck off of anyone who doesn't see her announcement like it's just another layer of cosmetics - first the base coat, then the faith, then the smokey eye, then the lesbianism, followed by a smoothing brush of country music powder to keep down the sheen of pretense. How chic!

Good for her (bank account)!

Lynn Miller | May 2, 2010 12:42 PM

Her memoir is being released on Tuesday. The description of it at Amazon sounds like the description was written by the publisher. So its hard to say how much weight to put on this, but apparently one of the things she mentions in the book is "making a pact with God—to keep her "sinning" to a minimum if he'd get her to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry—and her dream coming true at eighteen."

I'm not sure if she considers being lesbian a sin, or perhaps used to think so and her thinking changed. If she chooses to discuss how she reconciles being gay and Christian, it could be a good thing.

I had to read this about 4 times to be sure that she was actually "coming out of the closet" as a gay person, rather than as a religious person. Given that the term "coming out" has been co-opted by the media as a catch-all term for people revealing something previously hidden, it sort of needs to be spelled out these days. Even in the context of a LGBT website, I wasn't sure. Dunno if that's a good thing or not, really.

Who cares if she's gay/straight/white/black/christian/other/socialist/nazi? We each have our own struggles, and we should each be appreciated for our unique contributions to society.

Anyone using sexuality or political views to advance personal monetary/celebrity status objectives (as she is) is doing a tremendous discredit to those of us in search of true equality.

Love your brothers and sisters. Discredit the game.