Chely Wright Says Coming Out Negatively Affected Her Career
Note: This article was originally published in January of 2011.
Chely Wright bravely came out in a May 2010 People profile, but her courage hasn’t exactly been rewarded. The singer engaged in a chat with Auto Straddle, a lesbian pop culture blog, and admitted that her decision to reveal her sexual orientation harmed her career and lead to threats on her life. Wright isn't completely "woe is me" about the matter, but she is honest about the ripple effect of her choice.
The ‘Single White Female’ singer revealed that her album sales were reduced by half after she came out and that the publicity surrounding her disclosure did not serve as a vehicle to rev up record sales; rather, it lead to death threats.
"It didn't help my career," Wright mused in the blog chat. "If it appears from the outside that its 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.'”
Wright also said she had a gut instinct that the decision might harm her career, and her tingling senses turned out to be correct. Yet, she still doesn’t regret disclosing her sexuality: “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."
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