Chely Wright Comes Out: People’s Not-Cover Story, Curve Cover, Today Show, Book, Etc


IT’S CINCO DE FUCKING GAYO Y’ALL! And Chely Wright is super-busy today. Unfortunately, Brett Michaels turned out to be the person coming out on the cover of People Magazine (not as a lesbian though, but as “alive.” I still don’t know who Brett Michaels is, so perhaps I’m being insensitive ((likely)), but I like the bandana!)– in fact, Chely Wright’s story didn’t even make the sidebar-blurb area which is inexplicably consumed by Halle Berry‘s breakup, Alexa Ray Joel‘s depression, and the pressing question “can Jesse James win Sandra back?” We think the answer to that one is pretty f*cking obvious, but who are we to question the motives of the patriarchy and their propaganda/magazines.

Much like the homosexuality that Chely Wright kept hidden inside her all her life, Chely Wright’s story is buried beneath the voices of others. Luckily we have a “radar” for this kind of thing and have extracted Chely Wright’s truth from the middle of People Magazine. Now she can shine in all of her hot, cool, sexy lesbian glory! You should also check out People’s online coverage of Chely on their website.

You can also check out the sneak-peak of Curve’s June cover story on Chely, with excerpts from the story (you can pre-order the issue online if you want!) online, like this one:

On losing the love of her life: “Can you imagine being someone’s partner and having to be a secret?  You know, it’s really hard, it’s incredibly painful. And this was the love of my life, and to this day I struggle. I mean, I lost her because of it. I realized I had painted myself into a corner. I had amassed relative wealth and success and fame and I was doing everything I ever said I wanted to do and I realized [after the breakup] that none of it matters. I realized I would rather work in a grocery store bagging groceries and live in a crappy little apartment with my partner. I would rather have love in my life than any of this—and I lost it all.”

Chely Wright’s book, Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer, is actually really awesome. Watch this spot — we’ll have more about the book when we finish reading it.

Also, there’s an amazing Interview in Entertainment Weekly that might make you cry and also smile and feel overwhelmed with joy.

In the meantime, you can read what Queerty says about her story and its importance and why this morning’s coming out interview is “pretty awesome.”

Watch that video here:

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. I read the book yesterday, and it was pretty good. I feel for this woman. She led a really painful life, it seems, but I’m glad she’s living her truth now. And coming from the south I’m so appreciative that she’s willing to show people that there is diversity in the lesbian community.

  2. Oh my gosh, granted I have had a really long, arduous week, but her story is making me cry. So glad she is no longer in such a dark place.

  3. Not since (or ever before) Shut Up and Sing have I actually felt proud of a country musician. Until today. “Pretty awesome,” indeed.

    Now that someone’s finally facing homophobia head on, can we set our sights on country music’s other institutionalized evil: the steel guitar?

    • Steel guitars and Toby Keith. We need to tackle these issues head on.

      Seriously, Shut Up and Sing makes me bawl every time I see it.

  4. Gah, this. <3 Her story actually made me cry a little.

    Also, John Rich sounds like such an utter -jerk-. I`m not 100% sure who he is, but that's a disgusting thing to say to someone.

  5. Could someone PLEASE find the love of her life and bring them back together??

    Reading everything she went through just broke my heart. I didn’t know who she was before all the Cinco de Gayo murmurings began, but I am so grateful that she not only stayed alive, but came out and shared her story in a big way.

    I agree with Vikki, the EW interview is worth reading; it’s very honest.

  6. That EW interview is really endearing and also chilling, because she’s so forthright about how her country music career could be over in 3 weeks. That seems astonishing, to me. I’m in awe of her. Her whole story is making my week, even though a few days ago I’d have said “Chely Who?” if you’d told me her name. It’s so honest, so moving and so important. I agree with Debbie, someone find that love of her life and reunite them!

    (Or, y’know, if that’s impossible, I’m single…)

  7. i’m glad she found the courage to come out! i hope she ends up finding another love of her life. or you know, the first one. i hope she’s happy, basically.

  8. Chely looks so nervous at the beginning of that Today clip, I just want to hug her! I’m also glad that I now know how to pronounce her first name. After reading all these interviews and blurbs I want to read her book. And I sincerely wish her nothing but happiness and love. Even if the country community does turn their back, she has the LGBT community, and we all know lezzies LOVE folk music (which is apparently a more accurate description of this new album)…

  9. So I am a bit confused which is either because I didn’t read the whole story (was it all in the scans?) or because I am drunk or because people are refering to the other interviews and I don’t get it, so I won’t say a lot.

    But what I did read nearly made me cry and I think the story will help the many queer people who said “Chely who?” with disappointment realize that this was incredibly difficult for her and will be important. Country audiences are a conservative bunch overall. It’s important to see someone they know and like reveal her homosexuality, but also to see how impossible it was for her to live with denial and trying to pray it away and deal with God. It is important for those dealing with their own sexuality to hear her say that she knows she was alright with God.

    May she find all the peace and happiness she’s prayed for. And may someone buy me her new album.

    • It’s a lot like the Ricky Martin thing, isn’t it? It’s a slow road, but ever winding forwards.

  10. I’m from the deep south, grew up on country music (“Single White Female” was my favorite song going into 2000), and currently live in Nashville. So, thank you, thank you, thank you, Chely!

  11. I really enjoyed the Today show clip. Great interview! I didn’t know who Chely Wright was before this, but I’m proud to have her on our team.

  12. I really want her and J.Knapp to be BFF4evs. <3 This is a great few weeks for gay southern / midwestern girls.

  13. My feelings are what they would be for anyone in this situation. I’m so proud of her and I’m glad she’s in a better place in her life :) Some of her comments and book excerpts speak to so many of us, and quite a few times I found myself nodding my head, feeling that pain or triumph right along with her. I will definitely check out the book (even if it requires many free lounge sessions at the local B&N). As for the CD, I really enjoyed it, especially having the point of view that we do now. It’s very personal and everything I think she needed it to be. That’s the feeling that came across. And I think she would be happy to know that a few of the songs had that Patty Griffin feel, where something was exploding from the heart.

    Rock on Wright. Rock on. We’ve got your back now.

Comments are closed.