Chely Wright | Music | News

Chely Wright Fans Launch Petition to Get Openly Gay Country Star Invited Back to Grand Ole Opry: VIDEO

Chely WrightCountry singer Chely Wright used to be a fixture at the Grand Ole Opry, country music's oldest and most enduring "hall of fame" concert stage. But after she publicly came out as a lesbian in 2010, the Nashville stage show (and the country music industry altogether) have given her an icy cold shoulder. Wright's fans, however, are hoping to change that with an online petition asking the Opry to invite her back as a singer.

From the petition: 

In the past three years [Chely Wright] has had a new album, a book and a film that was part of the Nashville film festival. Yet she still has not been asked to sing at the Opry.

We fans have started a petition asking The Grand Ole Opry to invite her back. 

Fans have also released a video in support of the petition, which you can check out AFTER THE JUMP...

In the past, Wright has spoken at length about how her 'coming out' affected her career as a country singer. But Wright also says she doesn't dwell on the negatives.

"I don't wallow around in any lack of public support by my industry," she said in an interview with the Nashville Scene last year. "The headlines that get picked up and the sound bites suggest that I'm devastated, but I'm not really that hurt by it...I'd love to see some real public support for the LGBT community from my industry."

Wright says she's received some private support from industry people in Nashville, but there's a long way to go. "I do think that there are homophobic people in the industry - some of them in power," she continues. "I feel that the greatest setback that plagues the country music industry is their collective fear of the consumer's expected homophobia. I call this fearphobia. The industry is afraid of the record buying public's fear of gays and lesbians. They're afraid of fear. And that fear is enough to cause silence. And it's deafening, if you ask me."

To find out more about the petition, click HERE.



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  1. Let's be real...she hasn't had a hit in over a decade, it wasn't the coming out that ended her career. The only reason she even came out was to promote her new album which was a flop...her plan backfired, that doesn't automatically mean malice is involved.

    Posted by: Jmac | Oct 18, 2013 7:42:52 PM

  2. She sang there every ten weeks (even at times without a hit) for 21 years! Then she came out and boom no more invites? They can say all they wants it's not because she's gay, but knowing the fact above I personally question that!

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 18, 2013 7:56:13 PM

  3. She came out because being in the closet ruined her life. She was literally going to kill herself before making the decision.

    Posted by: AnotherSteve | Oct 18, 2013 8:01:03 PM

  4. Yep JMAC those fans are probably just her friends and family trying to argue that you are wrong. Yep. That's right.

    Posted by: Rowan | Oct 18, 2013 8:03:25 PM

  5. Yep JMAC those fans are probably just her friends and family trying to argue that you are wrong. Yep. That's right.

    Posted by: Rowan | Oct 18, 2013 8:03:27 PM

  6. Well, it's quite obvious the country industry fear the homophobia en their fans.
    And they had reasons to do, when Carrie Underwood said that she supported gay marriage it was a big backlash on forums. Of course her sales and radio support (she had three number one singles since then) didn't stop, but of course she is not gay herself, just an ally.

    Pop is supossed to be very gay friendly, but (lesbians apart, Tegan and Sara are getting some love at top 40 right now), Adam Lambert was the last gay male singer to have a top 40 hit on radio, and that was in 2010.
    Being gay seems a lot less problematic on alternative music

    Posted by: jjose712 | Oct 19, 2013 8:12:30 AM

  7. "fearphobia" I'm stealing that. The fear that other people will be racist/sexist/anti-gay/whatever. It plagues the entertainment industry when most of the time the public doesn't really care.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Oct 19, 2013 9:59:11 AM

  8. Sad that this type of behaviour should still be carrying on in the 21st Century. There are almost no blacks in Country Music, and they don't want any gays. The South still has a rigid belief/acceptance system about people. I think that time alone will eventually wash it all away.
    When you're dealing with any type of phobia, including 'fearphobia', it just takes time, lots of time.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Oct 19, 2013 10:49:01 AM

  9. This isn't a country music's a commercial music problem. As JJose712 correctly notes, there is a dearth of openly gay performers across most genres.

    Labeling this as a legacy of the South conveniently ignores the fact that this is happening everywhere. Lately, it seems that most of the horrific hate crimes occur in major cities in traditionally "liberal" states.

    I'm not saying there isn't work to do here in the South. But, if people abandoned their stereotypes of the South, they might discover that it's not as backwards as they believe.

    Posted by: alex | Oct 19, 2013 4:57:55 PM

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