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Out Country Singer Ty Herndon: The Support I've Received Since Coming Out 'Blew My Mind'

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Ty Herndon hanging with friends backstage at the Grand Ole Opry after Monday's show (Via Facebook fan page)

Country singer Ty Herndon has been feeling the love after his surprise coming out last week. In a follow-up interview with People magazine, he says the positive reaction he's received "blew my mind" and he's been overwhelmed by the support he's gotten from his fans as well as out show folk like Ricky Martin, Lance Bass, Chely Wright and even Leann Rimes. 

Since his statement last week, Herndon has had two public performances filled with emotion, tears, and even a little bit of history. Herndon's first performance after his surprise announcement last week was to a sold out crowd in Robinson, Illinois on Saturday night. It was, he said, an emotional show that ended with a standing ovation. Then on Monday night, Herndon took part in a Christmas benefit for kids at the Grand Ole Opry making him the the first out male country artist to appear on the famed stage.

"My knees were shaking!" he recalled, choking up a bit. "Walking out on the Grand Ole Opry stage as an open, free, happy, godly gay man is not something I thought I'd see in my lifetime. We knew that history was being made up there, and it was humbling."

As he adjusts to his new role as an out/loud/proud performer, Herndon states he is also looking forward to being a force for change in parts of the country where being gay is still a challenge. "There's so much work to be done in the South with all these kids that are struggling so greatly with finding love and support and finding a place to go to feel loved and supported." 

Herndon says he is feeling especially thankful this Thanksgiving week for all the support he's received and is looking forward to spending a quiet holiday in Nashville with his family and his partner.


Out Country Singer Chely Wright Scores Kickstarter Fundraiser Record for New Album- VIDEO

Chely WrightOut country singer-songwriter Chely Wright has broken Kickstarter records in funding her new album, reports Rolling Stone.

The 45-day campaign - the sixth most successful Kickstarter music campaign and the number one campaign in country music - raised $250,000, which will allow Wright to record and promote the album and to produce a music video.

Born in Missouri, Wright came out in 2010.  In the same year she published an autobiography and released a critically-acclaimed documentary about her coming-out process. She married Sony Music Entertainment's Director of Marketing, Lauren Blitzer the following year and gave birth to their twin sons in 2013.

Wright knew that after coming out she would lose old fans and gain news, but she says that she was "reduced to tears on a daily basis" by the number of private notes she received thanking her for the support her book and film had offered them in their own coming-out experiences.

With about half of the record already written, Wright looking at mid-2015 as a potential release date for the new project.

Watch the official video for Chely Wright's 1999 country chart number one 'Single White Female,' AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Out Country Singer Chely Wright Scores Kickstarter Fundraiser Record for New Album- VIDEO" »


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.

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


Chely Wright and Wife Lauren Expecting Identical Twins: VIDEO

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Country music singer Chely Wright and her wife Lauren-Blitzer Wright are expecting identical twins, she announced on Howard Bragman's chat show Gwissues today. Chely said she is carrying the twins: "They're due in July, but with identical twins they typically have to deliver a month early."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Chely Wright and Wife Lauren Expecting Identical Twins: VIDEO" »


Today: Chely Wright Opens Kansas City LGBT Community Center

Chely-WrightWell -- technically it's a center for youth who are questioning their sexuality, but these kids will probably figure themselves out quickly enough. Maybe they'll stick around.

Chely Wright is the nu-country singer of hits "Shut Up And Drive" and "Single White Female" who came out of the closet in 2010 and shortly thereafter married her partner, the activist Lauren Blitzer. She decided to open the LIKEME Lighthouse, as it's called, because she grew up not far from Kansas City and remembers well the difficulties of coming of age in an area without resources for LGBT teens. From the Washington Post:

“This just gives so much hope to these outlying areas, that your major metropolitan area has a gay and lesbian center,” said Wright, who married LGBT activist Lauren Blitzer last summer. “That would have meant everything to me had I been a kid growing up in Wellsville, knowing that there is a beautiful facility in our major city, that that was OK.

LIKEME Lighthouse's ribbon-cutting ceremony is today at noon, and opening festivities continue into the evening with performances by Wright, Alan Cumming, and others. Lighthouse's website is up and fully operational, but it doesn't seem like the center's yet fleshed out its programming. The facility will be open, presumably for drop-ins, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on most days, but what teens will be able to do once they arrive hasn't yet been decided. Maybe Lighthouse is waiting on volunteers?


Out Country Singer Chely Wright Gets Married

WrightBlitzer A hearty congratulations to lesbian country singer Chely Wright, who this weekend married her long-time girlfriend, activist Lauren Blitzer.

Via E! News:

[The women] got hitched Saturday in front of 200 guests at Lauren's Aunt's home in Connecticut. As for the most important question the dresses? Both brides donned traditional white gowns, yet decided to not wear veils as they told the mag: "We like our hair too much!"
...
As for the menu, although a vegan, Chely let Lauren make the decision to serve barbecue from New York's Blue Smoke, exclaiming, "Lauren's idea—not my influence!"

The women also had both a rabbi and a reverend officiate, since Wright is Christian, but Blitzer is Jewish.

Said Wright to People magazine of the big event: "The freedom of being out and open about who I am allowed me to find and fall in love with Lauren – the most amazing woman I've ever known."


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