Chely Wright is an award-winning country and western singer and songwriter. She came out as gay in May 2010 and has been an activist ever since. The first major country start to come out gay, Wright is also a Christian and is not backing away from her faith.
Wright appeared on Current TV's Viewpoint With Elliot Spitzer program to talk about her fans' reactions and her Christian faith. She was closeted for a long time, noting that it is hard for anyone to come out. "You know, the fans have been interesting," she said. "The fans have been largely what I expected. Some say, 'Oh, you're gay? I don't care.' Some say, 'Oh, I didn't know that I loved a gay person.' And some say 'I will never buy your records again. You disgust me.'"
She said that she was "a raw nerve" until she was 39 because of being closeted and the emotions may have impacted her songwriting. She is glad to have "retired from the full time job of hiding" and believes this will have a positive effect on her creativity.
Wright's Christianity was a source of strength for her. "Until my late teens, I thought I was going to hell for being gay. And after praying a prayer every single day, many times a day, for God to make me not gay, by my late teens I had an understanding from God that, 'No, you're good. I'm good. We're all good.' I still knew I had to hide and I've not left my faith practice because someone behind a pulpit has told me I need to. I've received letters from churches since I came out that told me to stop saying that I am a gay Christian, that they won't have it. You know what? They can't take away my faith and I believe that I was able to come out because of my faith. I believe I am here because God delivered me from my darkest hour and said, 'Stand up. Stand up and talk.'"