Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chely Wright: Country Music and Coming Out

courtesy of
Early this week, before the People feature "officially" broke, AfterEllen's Heather Hogan posted one of the best stories on country singer Chely Wright's coming out: Five Reasons Why Chely Wright's Coming Out Matters.

This was particularly poignant:
1) It always matters when anyone comes out.

People who have already come out and are surrounded by supportive communities often forget the dark fog of fear and shame and confusion that lives inside the closet. Some people say that coming out is an ethical obligation, and that if all the closeted gay people in all the world climbed up on chairs and jumped off at the same time, the whole earth would be thrown off-course. Or at the very least, gay people would start to see some civil liberty equality.

I have pretty catholic (small "c") taste in music, and I'd never heard of Chely Wright until this week, after much speculation on which big-name country music star was going to come out as a lesbian in a People magazine story this week, and I'm not alone. Does this make it any less significant? No. Mainstream country is not exactly, well, diverse, and having an "out" star can only break down some of those barriers.

Jezebel's Dodai who posted Chely's Today Show interview adds:
At 39 years old, her coming out may not seem like a big deal to some, but it's a huge deal for her — and it's possible that her story (minus the country star part) sounds familiar to many men and women is this country who feel that they can't tell the truth.

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