Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chely Wright, Wish Me Away

Over Thanksgiving someone mention to me an award winning country music singer who came out of the closet only to be black balled by Nashville.   My ears pricked up and I was like, who is this person?  I am not going to lie I am not a top forty country radio station listening kind of person.  Don't get me wrong, I love some k.d. lang, Dixie Chicks, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and Garth Brooks, I did grow up in the Midwest.  However, a diet of C&W is not on my menu.  Not knowing who Chely Wright comes as no surprise. 

My interest peaked I set out to find more about this person.  I discovered Wright had not only come out of the closet, but written an autobiography, as well as a documentary about her coming out.  I knew both would be on my to do list.  The documentary, Wish Me Away, was found on Netflix and the library had the book, Like Me.  Chely Wright was in my sights. 

I just did not expect to be so moved by her story.  I was overwhelmed by how hard Wright tried to not be a lesbian, praying every day for God to take the gay away.  She struck a chord in me when she talked about knowing at a very early age she was different and being terrified that someone would find out.  It was as if she was taking a page from my life.  Her constant struggle with living her dream of being a country music singer and hiding her lesbianism was heartbreaking.  This documentary definitely shines a glaring light on what happens when we hide who we are.

The autobiography, Like Me, was more introspective and elaborated on the themes from the film.  The narrative could have been more cohesive, but because of the memoir format, Wright makes it work for her.  Overall I can say, thank you, Chely Wright for standing up to be counted.  I wish more people in the country music industry were like her.  And Chely I wish you a happily ever after.

Official Wedding Photo from the Wright/Blitzer Ceremony


Angie said...

She performed at Pridefest two years ago, right after the came out. I knew who she was because my lesbian book club had just read "Like Me", but no one else knew her. She's a lot more recognizable now though.

Tempest ina Pot of Tea said...

Sorry I missed her, but I would have been clueless as to who she was. Will have to look for her in the future. She has a very good voice, too.