I've been sitting here for about an hour trying to type a post that could even BEGIN to do Chely Wright and her amazing Coming Out process justice. But I just can't articulate how compelling it is to see this well-spoken, intelligent, completely charming star give these raw accounts of her struggle with sexuality. Not to do other "outings" a disservice, but Chely isn't a flamingly obvious or butchy mcfabulous gay. There will be no eye-rolling "Well duh!" from across America. Aside from the belt buckle + tank top combos (which let's face it, are only ever going to ping for us gay girls anyway), Chely does not fit the world's view of Lesbian. Which is awesome in so many ways. Add to this the fact that she knew she was gay before she hit puberty, and it's a pretty powerful message reaching into the homes of millions who probably have no concept of what it means to be gay. She's also impossible to dismiss, because she's such a rational, articulate woman who absolutely looks, walks and talks like the polite southern belle she is. She's also being incredibly clear and strong on the fact she is very much a lesbian. This is no popstar kissing girls moment. I am so completely spellbound by her story; from her contemplation of suicide to her incredibly candid admission that she's been on both sides of the homophobic fence. Then there's the heartbreaking truth that she lost her only love so that she could keep her career, only to realise her mistake(Dear Lord someone please find this ex-girlfriend and REUNITE THEM ASAP. My heart can't take it).
I really agree with Heather Hogan over at AE in her assessment of the importance of Chely's coming out compared with other coming outs, in that so often recently outed celebs completely shut down and almost refuse to discuss being gay. Chely is being so open and in such a liberated, unthreatening manner that I think her message will reach a lot further than most. Hard to believe we were disappointed to discover she was the celeb coming out on May 5th, eh?
If you read one interview with Chely Wright, make it this one over at The Huffington Post. You'd have to be a pretty hard bastard to read that and not be moved. Have you ever wanted to hug someone so badly in all of your life??
Chely Wright, I am SO glad to have you in the family ♥