Why Chely Wright's Coming Out Matters
Oh, those cynical coastal gays.
Last week everyone was abuzz wondering which celebrity was coming out, and then when we find out it's country music artist Chely Wright the gays on the east and west coasts all say, "Who?"
(And to be fair, we did the same thing when we heard the news.)
But this is why her move is important to all of us.
1. Chely Wright received an American Country Music award for Top New Female Vocalist when her first album debuted in 1994. She had her first Top 40 country hit in 1997, and has released seven studio albums and charted more than fifteen singles on the country charts. She has also written songs for Brad Paisley, Richard Marx, Mindy Smith, and a top 10 hit for Clay Walker. She's proven herself a pro in the notoriously homophobic country music industry (k.d. lang, anyone?), and as such that makes her move significant.
2. People in countless red states who have a misguided notion of what it means to be lesbian or gay listen to her music. Her fans, and particularly the young ones, will hopefully reevaluate their beliefs on the topic and evolve a little.
3. She's pretty. That sounds shallow and simplistic, but we all know society judges us by our looks, and whether we like it or not our culture bends an ear faster to someone photogenic. (How else do you explain Sarah Palin?) Because Chely will have more people's attention, she'll be a bigger agent for change.
4. She dated Brad Paisley, who's super cute. It's always a good thing to have a hot lesbian who has good taste in hot men. And besides, maybe one day she'll kiss and tell (because we all want to know if the rumors about his guitar are true).
5. Last week countless gays were tossing out name after name of who might be the closeted fag or dyke coming out. It was all the names we've tossed back and forth hundreds of times because we all know—by strong rumor or direct connection—that these celebs are closeted homos.
But it wasn't any of them. It was Chely Wright, a woman who has proven that she has bigger balls then all of these so-called popular stars. And for that reason alone her coming out matters and she deserves your respect.
So here's to you Chely: Cheers!
Photos: Getty Images