Chely Wright Hub

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.

Talk Radio Host Stephanie Miller: "I'm A Gay Woman"

Progressive talk radio host Stephanie Miller came out on her show yesterday. She prefaced the big announcement with two back to back tweets: "There may be a lot of crying next hour" and "Stick around for the next hour. Mama's got something to tell you." Once on the air, she revealed: "I'm a gay woman. I've got the gay on me."

Miller, who has been out to her friends and family for years, credited Chely Wright's recent coming out as inspiration. She joked to the country music star, who joined her on the show after the big reveal, "You get a toaster oven for recruiting me."

Miller's father was William E. Miller, who was Republican Barry Goldwater's running mate in his unsuccessful bid for the US presidency in 1964. Goldwater himself famously said about gays serving in the military: "you don't have to be straight to shoot straight."

Miller says that, despite being a lesbian, she still thinks firemen are "hot." Then again, who doesn't?

Listen to her coming out, via Pam, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Talk Radio Host Stephanie Miller: "I'm A Gay Woman"" »

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #680

THE SIXTH SENSE: As reimagined by Iowa Rep. Steve King.

CHELY WRIGHT: Performs "Heavenly Days" at the SF GLAAD Awards with Rodney Crowell and Jeremy Lister.

TOO MUCH PRIDE MAKES THE BABY GO GAY: The New York Neo-Futurists are presenting 30 short plays in one hour on June 25 and 26 with proceeds to benefit advocacy and activism in Uganda. Here's the cute teaser for their show.

BATHHOUSE VIRGINS: YouTube's Davey Wavey and OurSceneTV's Matt Maggiacomo discuss their visit to a gay bathhouse.

For Previous Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

GLAAD Clarifies Remarks on Wright, DeGeneres

Michael Musto makes note of some pretty unfortunate remarks from GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios in a recent NYT article on celebrities who come out of the closet.

Musto: Ellen  

Well, now they've decided that in order to praise Chely Wright, the country star who got a renewed burst of fame by coming out, they need to diminish Ellen DeGeneres.

GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios told the New York Times, "When it's one of their own (coming out), I think it forces people to take it a little more seriously. In that way, Chely Wright has the promise of being far more impactful in coming out in red states where people couldn't give two hoots about Ellen DeGeneres."

Oy. Does this guy even realize how HUGE Ellen is in ALL states? She happens to have a hit daytime talk show that's watched by all KINDS of people, plus she's a judge on a tiny little phenomenon called American Idol, for God's sake!

Does he realize that she came out when she was already HUGE and when practically NO ONE was out? Does he realize how daring and major and impactful and brave that was and how she was crucified for it, but how she rode the next wave, becoming even more political and open while continuing to help transform the pop and political landscapes by pushing envelopes and addressing issues???

What Barrios said about Wright's presence and impact in the country music community is completely appropriate. But let's hope he leaves Ellen out of the equation the next time. She's got enough flak from the haters.

GLAAD sent a clarification to us this afternoon:

This quote was taken out of context and misses the point that country singer Chely Wright reached a new demographic with her announcement that she is a lesbian - an audience that needs more images of LGBT people in their lives. Ellen DeGeneres’ coming out was indeed a landmark achievement for our community and the original statement in no way diminished her work. Chely Wright’s coming out touched people who might not have been familiar with Ellen, when she came out more than a decade ago, including Chely’s country music and Christian fans.

GLAAD has been and continues to be a steadfast supporter of Ellen DeGeneres and holds her work for the LGBT community in our highest regard. In 1997, GLAAD coordinated "Come Out With Ellen" house parties in more than 1,500 households nationwide and even organized a satellite-fed telecast of her historic Coming Out episode in markets that refused to air the program. GLAAD honored Ellen with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award in 1998 at the GLAAD Media Awards in recognition of her significant contributions to equality. Her talk show has been nominated and received GLAAD Media Awards for ‘Outstanding Talk Show Episode’ category as recently as 2009.

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #661

CHELY WRIGHT TO PARENTS: “Do not close the door but open the heart.”

PEN GIANT: A stop-motion project featuring 355 billboard sized photos.

OBAMA: Effigy burned at Wisconsin bar as patrons laugh, cheer.

EXIT FAIL: Justin Bieber vs. glass door.

Country Music Singer Claims He Was Misquoted By Chely Wright

In her new memoir, newly out Chely Wright reveals a moment in her life a decade ago when fellow country music singer John Rich took her aside and flat out asked her if the rumors that she was a lesbian were true. She writes: “[John] said, ‘You’re not gay are you?!’ I said, ‘No, John, I’m not.’ He said, ‘Good, thank God.’ And that began a spiral for me. I had a meltdown shortly after that.” 

Alg_celeb_chely-wrightRich has responded and issued this statement to Access Hollywood:

“I would never pass judgment on any friend of mine. I feel awful that, at this time in Chely’s life, my decade old comment — ‘Good, thank God’ — was taken the wrong way. I was clumsily trying to express my relief that even a country boy like me had a one-in-a-million chance of having a beer with a woman as talented and attractive as Chely. For years after that conversation, Chely invited me to perform at charity events. In all that time, I wish she would have said something directly to me before the book’s publicity tour, especially since some of the comments attributed to me in the book are not mine. But I am happy for her and only wish her the best in her personal and professional life.”

Back in 2007, Rich was involved in a bit of controversy when he had the following to say about marriage equality: “I think if you legalize that, you’ve got to legalize some other things that are pretty unsavory. You can call me a radical, but how can you tell an aunt that she can’t marry her nephew if they are really in love and sharing the bills? How can you tell them they can’t get married, but something else that’s unnatural can happen?”


Wright has been making the media rounds and had an interesting thing to tell the LA Times about the intolerance she faces within her industry: "Historically, country music would rather an artist be a drunk — they even encourage and endorse that one...They would rather you were a drug addict than be gay. They will forgive you if you beat your wife, lose your kids to state, get six divorces, make a sex tape, get labeled as a tramp — any and all of it is better than being gay."


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