Country 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.