Chely Wright Opens Up About Being a Gay, Christian Country Singer
Country singer Chely Wright bravely came out, which negatively affected her career. Despite the consequences, Wright published an intense manifesto about bigger battles and larger struggles she had to endure regarding the duality of her life as a gay Christian female on The Huffington Post.
Some of the key points Wright made about the LGBT lifestyle and religious issues are as follows. She touches on realizing her sexual orientation before she even reached double digits in age; how she learned to love in secret, which crippled her relationships; and how she reconciled how she loves with her unwavering Christian faith. Wright engaged in some weighty identity battles and even contemplated taking her own life, but by the end of her revelatory essay, you’ll realize she is finally confident in all the factors of her life.
Growing up in rural Kansas: “It led me to believe that everything was simple, everything made sense and that anything was possible. In the first decade of my life, I came to know and love God, as I was raised in a Christian home and community.”
Realizing she was gay: “I realized at the age of nine, that I was gay. I was truly experiencing a chasm of discord and struggle within myself as I walked the halls of the Wellsville Public Schools. I was a young, gay, Christian, farm girl from Kansas with dreams of becoming a country music star. Can you wrap your head around that? I really couldn’t. So began the most difficult chapter of my life which would last more than 25 years; and the storyline was me, committing repeated crimes against myself — against my emotional, physical and spiritual self. Those crimes would take their toll.”
On how she viewed and acted on love: “I went from ‘I’ll go without love’ to ‘I’ll hide my love.’ That’s pretty tough to do when, at the very root of who I am and at the core of what country music seems to be about is honesty, openness and accessibility.”
On considering suicide: “Early one cold winter morning in Nashville, I nearly took my life with a gun. Let me be clear, my decision to take my life was not because I am gay. I had long understood, since my late teenage years, that God had made me exactly as I was supposed to be. And may I add what a huge comfort that has always been to me. The reason I was ready to end it all was because I didn’t know how to be me in this life that I’d carved out — this gay, Christian, farm girl from Kansas who sang country music. I just didn’t know how to make those pieces fit.” She eventually culled the solution to that very puzzle through prayer.
On how the church treats LGBT people: “I liken the notion that we (the LGBT community) are a Godless people to a scenario on a grade school playground. Remember when you were in third grade, when it was time to choose teams for a game of kickball during recess and all of the favored, obvious players were chosen first? This left the same players to be chosen last or to never even get a chance to kick or take the field — essentially giving a message to that kid, ‘You’re never going to get to play. You’re not good enough. You don’t belong.’ Remember that happening to the same kid over and over? Well, eventually that kid would stop hoping to be chosen for either team. And eventually that kid would probably develop an aversion, perhaps even a life-long, deep loathing for the game of kickball. It’s a protective mechanism that humans employ to preserve the most tender parts of their psyche. That’s what it feels like for an LGBT kid in a place of worship. That kid is repeatedly given the message that he or she will never, ever fit in and be acceptable to God or to the congregation. Why would anyone subject themselves to that kind of spiritual rejection and spiritual violence on a weekly basis? Why would that LGBT kid grow up to seek out the same type of negative messaging as an adult?”
On who she is: “I am a gay, Christian farm girl from Kansas who sang country music and I did the very best I could do — to know God and to share God.”
Watch the Chely Wright ‘Single White Female’ Video