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04/19/2007


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

Wright

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."


Country Singer Chely Wright to Marry Activist Lauren Blitzer

Country singer Chely Wright, who came out last May, will marry in August, People reports:

Chely_wright "Out country singer Chely Wright and her fiancée, Lauren Blitzer, a GLBT Civil Rights activist, have set a date and plan to be married in Connecticut Aug. 20," Wright's rep tells PEOPLE. "They met through their youth advocacy work, and say that their passion for Scrabble holds them together." 

"The freedom of being out and open about who I am allowed me to find and fall in love with Lauren," Wright tells PEOPLE, "the most amazing woman I've ever known." 

Wright said in January that her record sales suffered after she came out. Her love life, apparently, hasn't.


Chely Wright: 'My Record Sales Went Directly in Half' After Coming Out

Country singer Chely Wright tells Autostraddle in a lengthy interview that coming out has had its repercussions:

Chely-wright "There’s the gay community that now knows my name and it’s a long leap from the new demographic of people who will come to my Facebook page and hit the 'Like' button to them buying my record and coming to live shows. It’s a big stretch from those new fans to make up for the fans I lost. 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. You won’t hear me bitching and moaning on my Facebook about the hate mail I’ve gotten. My life has been threatened. I get nasty letters every day, 'I’m through with you Chely Wright, you’re going to hell.' There’s a big difference between press and advocacy and…. sometimes people forget that people who sing or make movies, this isn’t just a hobby for us. This is how I pay my bills. 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."

Wright came out of the closet in a People cover story in May.


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