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Beautiful Country Singer Chely Wright Announces She is Gay

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Kansas native and acclaimed, celebrity singer Chely Wright has been holding a closely-guarding secret from the world: She is gay and considers herself a lesbian—and a beautiful one. But the pressure of the dual life previously led turned torturous, so Wright put a gun in her mouth and made some life-altering decisions. As one of country’s most well-known and respected singers, Wright’s been at the top of charts—and the two male country singers she’d dated were both handsome and at the top of the charts also. From appearances, a match made in heaven—but truly, not quite. Desperately afraid that the admission of her sexuality could bar her from reaching her goals and dreams, the singer kept her secret so tightly under wraps that not even best friends knew. She has become the first mainstream country music star to acknowledge their homosexuality. The stunningly beautiful 39-year-old country singer revealed her secret in print first--to People magazine, then on air on TODAY, then meeting with Oprah. Wright’s planned interviews coincided with the release of her new autobiography, “My Life.” On the TODAY show Wright told Natalie Morales she knew she was different from other girls as young as elementary school in third grade—that she would pray to God, “Please don’t let me be gay.” But, she says, she knew—the thought was not a fleeting one. Today she announces she is a lesbian. “Country music is typically known to be conservative,” says Wright. “Our [country] fan base is conservative; pretty much our industry, the people who run it, have conservative beliefs, and it’s widely known to be about God and country and family. For some reason, people don’t think that can coexist with being a homosexual.” The conservative theory from others is also one Wright followed—and held, even through the time as she was named country music’s top new artist in 1995, and carried No. 1 hits with “Shut Up and Drive” and song “Single White Female”. Wright didn’t talk about her sexual identity. The country singer had been living as a gay woman since her 20s, pushing back country radio DJs and journalists who tried to find out more about the artist. With those pushes came risks and damages to those relationships. “I became so detached, I think people thought I was snotty or cold or hard to get to know,” Wright says. “But that’s the way I had to live my life.” She says that she couldn’t have told more than the literal few that knew, or the knowledge would put those people and friends in a bad position—or decision to lie to other people, in order to keep the singer’s cover and discretion. The beautiful has dated country music’s most influentical—and stunning—including handsome male country singers Brad Paisley and Vince Gill, so that no one would find out that Wright had a long-standing sexual relationship with a woman. Despite her attempt for cover in the close-knit music community of Nashville, people were still talking about whether Wright could be gay. Wright said she got hit over the head by 2005 rumors after being confronted by country singer John Rich (of duo Big & Rich). “John [Rich] said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to hit this gay thing head on, you’re not gay, are you? If you are, people won’t have it. It’s sick, it’s deviant; it’s unacceptable to country music fans.’ “I lied, and I knew I had gone from not talking about it to ‘Now I’m a liar,” says Wright. It led to a harrowing crisis of conscience for Wright, who says she hit rock bottom months after telling Rich she wasn’t gay. “I had a 9-millimeter gun in my mouth,” celeb Wright describes of that time. “I was taking inventory of my life and I realized I had pieces that I just couldn’t get to intersect. I was living a secret life and I was very much a country music celebrity, and I saw no way to get those to coexist. I gave up hope and I was ready to take my own life.” But Wright, who had always tried to be stoical about her double life, finally allowed herself to cry. “That’s what broke the dam for me,” says country singer Wright. “I put the gun down and went upstairs. The next morning when I awaked, I was afraid to go downstairs because I was afraid of that gun. Rather than go downstairs, I got on my knees and spoke out loud to God and I stopped praying for what I always prayed for, which was help me figure out a way to still have my career. “I changed my prayer, and my prayer was, ‘God, give me a moment’s peace.’ I got up off my knees and got my moment’s peace. I didn’t hear God’s voice, I didn’t see a guy in a robe, but I heard God say what he’d been whispering in my ears all along: ‘I expect one thing of you, and that is to tell the truth.’ ” Wright immediately started writing a book--to tell her story—now on shelves after three reflective years in completing her autobiography. Chery Wright’s book ‘My Life’ was slated for same-day release of her new album CD, “Lifted Off the Ground.” As to Chery Wright’s enthusiasm in revealing her sexual identity—that she is in fact gay: “It feels incredible,” she says. “I feel as if it’s my birthday.”

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