When Chely Wright came out as a gay country music star in May of 2010, she was proud and happy to finally be open about her identity. "Nothing in my life has been more magical than the moment I decided to come out," she noted at the time.
However, in a new interview, she's been open again--this time, about the considerable challenges she's been facing since that momentous day.
"My life has been threatened," she told the website Autostraddle, which describes itself as a progressive outlet for gay and bisexual women. "I get nasty letters every day."
Wright also said she's suffered professionally. "It didn't help my career. My record sales went directly in half. If it appears from the outside in that it's helped my career, it could be because I haven't talked about the negative.
"In coming out, I had a feeling that it would diminish my wage earning, and that feeling was correct. And, I am fine with that."
Some of the singer's professional friendships have taken a hit, as well. "There are a lot of other people in the industry that I had a friendly email relationship with, or would occasionally text with, that I have not heard a word from."
Other friends have been supportive, but only in private, she noted.
As to who exactly is doing this? Wright refused to name names: "It's not nice."
Ironically, this gracious and positive attitude is the very reason why she felt she needed to make a stand for gay rights. "I have been known in country music as one of the most revered, philanthropic, nice, hardworking, All-American people that make records in Nashville--and that counts for something," she said. "I am all of those things, and I want to make it clear to the American public, I am a gay woman."
That said, Wright is not letting anything stand in the way of her first love--music. She told Autostraddle that she's got about 6-7 new songs written for a new record. "I'm writing all the time. The goal is to take the great songs that I have now and make them obsolete and write better ones."
Good for you, Chely. You were bound to hit some rocks on your path, but I think it's great that you're continuing to focus on being positive--and being musical. Your approach is admirable given the negativity you have been facing.
Are you in support of Chely's career too? Be sure to let me know what's on your mind.
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