I’m not typically a curator-type pass-it-along blogger, but this interview with Chely Wright is one of the most refreshing interviews I’ve read in a very long time. And it’s a coming-out interview!
I’ve been out for so long, that even though of course I respect and admire those who are courageous enough to come out, and I applaud and support them when they do—and encourage them to do so before they do, typically the story is the same and well, I’ve been there.
But Chely Wright. She’s smart and wise beyond what she has any right being.
All that, and she left her cynicism somewhere far away from the journalist’s audio recorder. Good girl.
My favorite quote:
I wasn’t just in the closet, Whitney. I was behind the sheetrock in the closet.
Anyway, you can read it for yourself. Unfortunately, she’s probably right about Nashville and the Country Music Community. Back in 1995, when Ty Herndon was arrested for showing his penis to an undercover policeman while cruising in Griffith Park in Dallas, TX, that night in Nashville the news shows were doing retrospectives on Herndon’s career, talking about how his career was already over when it was just getting started. Not because he got arrested, mind you, but because he was gay.
Herndon tried to ungay himself, plea-bargaining away the indecent-exposure charge by leveraging the drugs charge (they found amphetamines—probably E—in his truck): he claimed he was under the influence of the drugs and that’s what made him do what he did and so if he underwent drug treatment they’d drop the charge.
So uppers make you want cock in the uppers, and being a drug addict is far better than being gay. That’s what Nashville preferred to believe.
Herndon quickly released a video, a duet with a woman. W. O. M. A. N. and his label got it played in heavy rotation (sort of like you do with the cock in the uppers sometimes) so that everyone kept seeing Ty singing to a female and a female singing back.
His career wasn’t over after all, but it never did recover fully.
But Chely is having none of that. She’s out and proud, living her life in truth, being a good shepherd to her life, as she puts it.
She makes me proud of her and proud of myself for having been doing the same.
So thank you, Chely, for your words, which are better than my words have been, in some ways. Words which may be good enough for many others who would have otherwise remained living in the dark, living in lies.
Welcome to your life out in the sun. With us.