Chely Wright: ‘Magical’ to be First Lesbian Country Artist, Also BTW She’s Cute!

CHELY WRIGHT:

Hey remember that time we floated the “Shelby Lynne is coming out on Cinco de Gayo” theory, and then her publicist would neither confirm or deny it to Gawker, so then someone who knows someone at People magazine got itchy about the false rumors and tipped Queerty that it wasn’t Shelby, it was Chely Wright, and then TMZ stole Queerty’s story, and then we told you about Chely Wright, and then People was like, wtf, this is our story, and then People released a sneak-peak of Chely’s Big Gay Day on their website? Probably not that last part, ’cause it JUST HAPPENED. Here’s what People has published:

Country singer Chely Wright’s reasoning was sound. “There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality,” she tells PEOPLE. “I wasn’t going to be the first.”

But now Wright is changing her tune. “Nothing in my life has been more magical than the moment I decided to come out,” she says.

Wright, 39, recalls of her youth in the South: “I don’t have a memory in my life that doesn’t include the dream of making music.” But during her childhood and rapid ascent to fame in the county world, she also experienced a community in which homosexuality was shunned. “I hid everything for my music,” says Wright.

The singer-songwriter, who has won both an Academy of Country Music and a Country Music award, will later this week release her memoir, Like Me, as well as her first album in five years, Lifted off the Ground.

She’ll also appear on the Today Show Wednesday to discuss her personal journey.

We really feel at this point it’d be smart for Shelby Lynne to come out on Wednesday as well, so that there’d be TWO of ’em. Although there’s a lot of like folk-country crossover shit happening with lesbians, but apparently not big enough to catch anyone’s attention.

WILD LESBIAN PARTY:

Read for yourself, from mystar, a Malaysian newspaper:

MORE than 100 people turned up for a wild lesbian party held at a nightspot in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Kosmo! reported.

The evening’s entertainment included games where blindfolded participants placed stickers on their bodies where they wanted to be licked, the daily said. Some participants were reported to have also taken off their clothes to take part in the games.. Guests were also entertained by sexy dancers, the daily reported.

.. a source said she has previously sent an e-mail to religious authorities complaining of the matter but lamented that no action had been taken.

QUEER PROM:

So Derrek Lutz wore a dress to his prom in New Jersey and guess what happened, he was crowned prom king! Some queer prom stories really do have happy endings, y’all. (@queerty)

DISABILITY:

Bitch Blogs rounds up their Blogging About Disability Day. (@bitch)

TEENAGERS:

It is really is fucking impossible to be 14, amirite? (@jezebel)

SEX:

Amanda Seyfried was scared of sex: “We have to be open-minded. I’m not saying American’s are narrow-minded – I’ve lived in New York and Los Angeles – but where I grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania. there was a small-town mindset that made me feel that sex was wrong. When my sister lost her virginity, I thought that was dirty and disgusting, and I was scared of sex. I remember I had a fight with my friend when I touched a boy for the first time and I didn’t tell her. She got mad with me, not because I didn’t tell her, but because I’d done it in the first place. “ (@female first)

OUTMEDIA:

Congratulations to Emily Wunderlich from the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse, the winner of OUTmedia and Campus Pride’s Be Queer, Buy Queer contest! She will be the proud recipient of $10,000 of OUTmedia entertainment, and our undying love. Here’s her video!

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BODY POSITIVITY:

As you know we more or less worship Jezebel. Their decision to re-publish/”syndicate” this post on Jezebel about how celebrating the release of Britney Spears’ un-airbrushed photos was stupid and body image issues are irrelevant to the feminist movement, which can really only be explained by a desire on their behalf to spark controversy & its accordant page views while absolving themselves of responsibility for the content of the post because it wasn’t by a Jezebel writer, sort of rubbed us (and the Jez-commenters) the wrong way. Anyhow we’re over it and back to worshiping them, but regardless, Happy Bodies has a fabulous post called “why this matters” in response to the Jez post, which you should read!

And then, back to Jezebel, for the story of another fashion magazine editor (ELLE, this time), clearly driven insane by her lettuce-and-mustard diet, once again makes ridiculous claims on morning television like that Elle McPherson is not skinny, and that “Average Women Are Not Inspired By Women Who Look Like Them.” (@jezebel)

WORDS:

This post is about a horrifying and shocking tragedy against a young woman and the words the press used to describe it. It’s not going to make you feel good, but it is said well, well said, and worth your read: This is Not an Analysis of Rape Culture. This is a Rant. (extreme trigger warning this post details child abuse and rape) (@curvature)

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30 Comments

      • that said, the throw down that goes on in KL on Christmas Eve is maybe the wildest experience I’ve ever experienced in my life. thousands of cans of fake snow and silly string. and so many people spraying these cans at each other. i haven’t had so much fun sober in at least 5 years.

        • Haha we do know how to party! We just need to be careful lest some tabloid publishes pics and claims we’re sacrificing goats or virgins or virgin goats.

          (Also, A/S, check your spam queue; I posted a comment with a lot of links and it got eaten!)

  1. I loved this part the most: “Body positivity matters to the feminist movement. It matters because every second a woman spends obsessing about her appearance or counting calories is one less that she can devote to critical thought, political engagement or working for gender equality. It matters because women–and all people– should not have to define their self-worth based on their proximity to the white, cis, able-bodied, thin ideal.”

    The story about Kierra Johnson is beyond despicable where these two pieces of shit, the media and our culture are concerned. For what it’s worth, I’ve written a letter to the publication expressing my outrage and concerns at their failure to call rape by its name.

    Derrek is adorable. Thanks for that.

  2. Ah, Malaysia.

    Here’s some context: Almost the mainstream media’s run and owned by the Government. Homosexuality is illegal. Portrayals of homosexuality is borderline illegal. There is a growing queer community in Malaysia, but it tends to center in urban KL (where people tend to have enough of an upper-middle-class privilege). Within this is a strong lesbian community (which is oddly biphobic but that’s a separate story). Due to the systematic homophobia, orgs and support groups tend to work under the banner of “HIV/AIDS support”. Also, for some reason, the Government is rather phobic of young people.

    Now, the mainstream media is fond of stories that wildly exaggerate what goes on at parties. Their idea of “party”, especially if it involves young people (and, in this case, queer young people), is very hedonistic – debauchery! people having wild random sex! drinking! UNDERAGED KIDS! And there’s always a religious authority involved in it somewhere. It’s basically part of an ongoing “the-kids-are-out-of-control” meme, and this one has a side of homophobia to boot.

    Was there a wild party? Possibly, though it may not have been as wild as the article suggests. Were there underaged kids? Well in my experience I’ve never been carded (the MyKad they mention is an identity card) so I bet there were a few 17 year olds in there. What most likely happened though was that someone found out about a regular club night and made up the details to be more lurid.

    This is the same country that in 2001 had a big moral panic about “black metal” cults sprung by rock bands that encouraged their fans to burn holy books. That on New Years 2006 arrested everyone at a punk concert of “black metal”, detained everyone, and accused the organisers of having goats run loose on stage. That printed pictures from a hip-hop concert thrown by a music mag and claimed it was a “island party of underaged drinking, drugs, and topless girls”. (The mag then did an article where they confronted the reporters and asked them where they got their proof from; they were silent. EXCELLENT takedown.) The same one that claimed that girls wearing pants were a major societal problem, because they were all butch lesbians and will corrupt young minds. It’s “all about the children”, but they don’t seem to respect “the children” very much.

    tl;dr don’t take mainstream Malaysian press seriously.

    Here are some better links for the queer scene in Malaysia:
    http://www.theklword.com/
    http://seksualitimerdeka.blogspot.com/
    http://www.fabulousasia.com/
    http://www.fridae.com/
    http://outdo.squarespace.com/
    http://www.ptfmalaysia.org/2010/
    http://community.livejournal.com/queermalaysians/
    http://tiltedworld.org/

    • I live in Malaysia. There is ALWAYS religion involved in these stories. They make it out like lesbians only know how to party. I’ve never read an article about lesbians before this one. Why would they print this if it wasn’t for the whole party like a rock star, get high, have sex angle?

      Here’s some perspective for you. I’ve come out to a couple friends who are fairly accepting, but my own mother is in denial. How’s that, huh?

      So, no, don’t take it seriously. Stories like that are always blown out of proportion… It’s pretty shit.

  3. Where is the wild lesbian party mailing list? I always miss these damn things!

    Amanda Seyfried *was* scared of sex, right? I can haz dreams?

    Wow, I’m a bit straddled (hardy har) on the body positivity tip. I mean, I certainly see why it is beautiful thing to publish their untouched photos, it is a big step. But, I don’t know if I can hail this as a step for feminism, not a big one anyway. Not big enough to throw the word around continuously. I can definitely understand both Razer and Happy Bodies. It is important, this body positivity, but it is definitely not enough in relation to the movement.

    About the rape rant, there are no word, NO WORDS for how angry that makes me. I really mean that I’m speechless, I feel like if I even begin to say how I feel I really might explode.

  4. yuck, I hate jezebel. always have. AS is a bajillion times better than Jez.

    I was going to complain about how overall the editorial voice of Jezebel is a very privileged one, but I’ve instead decided to focus my yuck on their comment policy. Every time I’ve wanted to give Jez a chance and be a regular reader and commenter, I forget that my comments aren’t just screened, but that I have to “audition.” wtf. Why bother? I don’t even have a girlfriend – auditioning to comment on a website that I feel lukewarm towards is way more commitment than I have to offer.

    Another factor is that I’m in California. I’ve noticed that the farther you are from New York, the more “meh” you are about Gawker media.

      • Whew! I was worried I was going to get in trouble for knocking Jezebel.

        I agree – Hortense is extra great, but that’s not enough to compensate for the rest of the site. And who needs to, now what we have Autostraddle to fill our hearts?

        • awww that’s so sweet! that makes my heart sing that you would like us the most. seriously my heart is SINGING A SONG OF LOVE TO LIKE THE FEMINIST HEAVENS

          I think they’re doing a good thing in terms of making feminism popular and it’s definitely my favorite website besides my own and The Awl. Unlike other gawker media sites they produce some really thoughtful feminist critique of serious issues almost every day. I also appreciate staff is (relatively) racially diverse, but I think people don’t realize that ’cause they don’t have their photos up.

          I think also b/c I am trying to build a successful online media business, I understand why they do some of the things they do… and I appreciate that they haven’t let that stuff overwhelm the more important issues discussed there. From the business perspective I also appreciate (and often recoil) at the things they do, but it gives me hope that it’s possible to create self-supporting online media without being owned by viacom or aol.

          That being said, different strokes for different folks and I don’t ever expect anyone else to like the things that I like! Unless they like Taylor Swift obviously and then I get really upset. JK! I like her music too.

          Oh but also as written above, I was really fucking disappointed in them for publishing that terrible insulting post. total cop-out, bad business in my opinion.

          I lost my point in this comment, I think I Need to eat something.

  5. I didn’t know who Chely Wright was before this weekend – how are we pronouncing that, by the way? I have never heard of that name. Shelly? Chee-ly? Shay-ly? – but dang, she is really cute. I’m a little disappointed it’s not Shelby, but still hoping she’ll jump on the Cinco de Gaymo Bandwagon (I want a band called that) and officially come out as well.

    Related, I found this video of her doing a duet with her sister, Allison Moorer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbaGWRBTrXk The song is called Going Down (ahem) but I think that refers to, like, hell, rather than lady business. But seriously, watch the video. Shelby is only singing back-up, but she uses it as an opportunity to bust out some seriously lesbian dance moves. I can’t decide if it’s homosexy or homo-ridiculous. She’s wearing a f’n bandana! And thrusting! And scowling! And rubbing her crotch while simultaneously looking totally bored. I’m so obsessed with this video.

    • wow. this video alone would have single-handedly convinced me that it’d be Shelby. i can’t decide between homosexy and homo-ridiculous either but i love it!

  6. Yeah, I was momentarily miffed it wasn’t Shelby Lynne, because I’m a casual fan of her music and I’ve never heard of Chely Wright. But after consideration, I’m thinking this is most definitely a positive thing, and almost BETTER than Shelby being the big reveal. I mean, Shelby’s sexuality is pretty much an open secret, right? Watch that vid I linked to! Most gay dancing/attitude ever! (Really hot, clearly). She usually stays away from gendered pronouns in her songs. She mentions being in relationships with a woman in interviews. She had short hair and has a swagger, she dresses in stereotypically lesbian-ish ways.

    But Chely is in a whole different category. I’ve started listening to some of her music today. It’s catchy and kick-ass and really, really fun to sing along to, but it also reads like a A-Z of heteronormativity. From what I’m reading, her whole public image has structured her as the ur-straight single woman. Even appearance-wise, she’s so femme-y. Her coming out is going to shock a LOT of people, even if most internet people (which, let’s assume, are youngish and urban-based, maybe not necessarily the demographic which pays attention to Nashville) seem to be moaning they’ve never heard of her, so this is a pointless PR exercise. Not so. It’s comparable to Jennifer Knapp. I’ll bet there’s a lot of people, people who may not have an online presence, who’ll see the latest copy of People in their local grocery store on Wednesday, and it’ll be a huge revelation to them. Big Chely Wright fans who are also homophobic? Country music devotees who claim to never have known a gay person? A closeted Midwestern kid who suddenly realises he/she has other options? A teenager who realises there is no definite template of what a lesbian looks like, just as there is no definite template of what a straight woman looks like?

    She’s going to lose a part of her fanbase, no question. But if one person reconsiders their views of gay people because of this, or if one weirdo queer with a mom who blasts Chely Wright songs in the car feels a little less alone, then this whole stunt will have been worth it.

    The other reason I think this is an awesome piece of news is rather less right-on. Basically, this has put Chely Wright on my radar and she is SO my type. I love kinda pointy faced femme women. Mmmm. Massive crush developing. Also, hot women who come out are automatically x100 times more attractive then straight hot women, yes? It’s science.

    • Re the video of the Moorer sisters. My interpretation has been that Shelby is trying to stay in the background ’cause it’s Allison’s gig. Anyhow, they did this song that night as well:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b5-aBarlIg

      Watch every blessed second of it, but especially the interaction around 3:37.

      Love Allison. Love Shelby. Glad there are some other fans here.

  7. God, the last article that it was referring to was just disgusting.
    Its so disturbing to see news articles use the words “sex” instead of rape in those kinds of situations. Its so often done. and victim blaming, like her sexual history even needs to be discussed. If she doesn’t have sex rape is terrible but if she has sex a lot rape is somehow okay. Ugh.

  8. Admittedly, I’m a longtime Jezebel fan, but I’m actually not that bothered by the post. I mean, I don’t agree with the author, but I think one thing I’ve learned from reading Jezebel is that feminists don’t always agree with each other, and that’s okay. We might differ on what we think is important or right, but fundamentally, we’re on the same team and we’re motivated by the same core belief — that women should be equal. The fact that there are a lot of people out there thinking critically about some of the issues faced by women — enough so to write and argue about it — gives me some level of comfort. I kind of like that they gave the floor to someone who subscribes to a different brand of feminism than what one normally sees on Jezebel.

    I guess I also don’t think the post is that outrageous? I mean, it’s not like she’s Camilla Paglia / a rape apologist or something.

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