UPDATE: Country Music Singer Coming Out in Curve. Could Be Chely Wright. Or Not.


This week we’ve become so confused about the way “information” is presented online that we have decided to only write about the htc Evo 4g and ourselves from now on.

Around 8:30 PM last night, May 3rd, we got this email from our friends at Curve Magazine:

Don’t let the online buzz fool you. Just months after Curve published an article on lesbians in country music which asked whether popular country crooners like Terri Clark and Shelby Lynne (both once rumored to be gay) would ever come out, one major country singer is doing just that on Curve’s June cover. The issue hits stands May 25, but excerpts from that groundbreaking interview can be found on Curvemag.com on May 5, along with video of her top hits and a song track from her latest album.

Because a person cannot come out on two different magazine covers, we inferred that it could not possibly be Chely Wright, despite the magazine cover silhouette’s resemblance to Chely Wright, who is being heralded as the first country music artist to come out lesbian. See, Wright is set to come out on the cover of People Magazine on Cinco de Gayo/May 5th. People released tidbits from Chely’s cover story online yesterday, which we printed earlier today on Autostraddle.

The original headline of this post was “How Many Lesbian Country Stars are Coming out on May 5th?” and we theorized that the woman coming out on Curve’s cover would be Shelby Lynne, again, because clearly we are now obsessed with her.

This morning around 10am: We received a tip from a reader directing us to this article from the Examiner, which appears to be a legitimate website. This article stated:

Later this month, Wright will appear on the cover of Curve, a monthly magazine for lesbians. The issue, which hits stands on May 25, will also feature a full-length feature article and interview with country music’s sweetheart. You can read excerpts of the groundbreaking interview online beginning May 5 on Curve’s website.

AND THEN! JUST NOW, (2 PM EST, Tuesday May 4th), we heard back from our friends at Curve Magazine who said that they cannot reveal the identity of their cover star just yet as they are sworn to secrecy. I told her about The Examiner article, and she told me that The Examiner is “just speculating.”

In conclusion, our money is on John Travolta.

As far as Chely and the People Cover goes, I guess the biggest thing to look forward to is the cover, in which we’re 100% confident based on our own imagination/People’s most recent cover that it will feature Chely gazing lovingly into the eyes of a tiny lesbian who she will be lifting in her arms, Simba-style, and the lesbian will be wearing a beaded rainbow necklace of love and homosexuality.

The coming-out print issue of Curve hits the stands May 25th. The current issue with Sarah Silverman on the cover is on stands now and it features an article by Riese & Alex of Autostraddle.com, so you should check it out.

I’ve discovered a lot of new music this week btw! Like Shelby Lynne and Chely Wright!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com 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 3177 articles for us.


  1. Thank you, tinkerbell, for your thoughts on this. For a stuffed dog you’re quite eloquent.

    p.s. I hadn’t heard of any of these country singers before this started being discussed here.

  2. judging by the silhouette of her hair, i think that’s gonna be chely wright too. right? i mean i guess she’ll still be ‘the first woman of country music to come out.’ – just on two covers at once.

    or am i too high?

    remember guys – the higher the hair, the closer to the lord.

    • I don’t know if that silhouette is actually supposed to be of the person who’s coming out or just like a general silhouette? it looks like the rachel shelley cover for some reason

    • hate to break it to who? Brandy Carlile was born in
      ’81 right, so she’s my age, 28. I guess i could click the link to find out, which i will do , but i’m confused as to what you are referring to here or anywhere on this website that says she’s 21.

      • ok i just clicked the wikipedia link and i was right, she was born in ’81 and therefore is my age, 28.

        • Did the post get edited? I could have sworn there was a section in it originally talking about how Chely Wright wasn’t really the first country singer to come out, citing someone I hadn’t heard of and Brandi Carlile as ~out ~country singers. In the Brandi Carlile blurb, it was something like “…this 21-year-old singer…”. I was just pointing out that she’s not 21, which I guess you know, although the relevant paragraph seems to have disappeared.

          Sorry for the pedantism – it was a nice article, but that just jumped out at me.

          • I mentioned on Twitter that kd lang was initially a country singer (1989 Best Female Country Vocalist: Absolute Torch and Twang) – so really, Chely Wright isn’t the first.

  3. I thought country was super straight. And now it’s super gay? My world is turned upside down. Also, another great post by Tinkerbell!

  4. Completely irrelevant to lesbian country singers, but the ad at the top of this page says, “When you pressure me for nude pics, I throw up in my mouth a little.” Ad Council, you are awesome.

  5. Despite having no clue about all these country singers, I find Tinkerbell’s hard-hitting investigative journalism as perhaps the world’s first closet-gay-country-singer sniffer dog highly compelling.

    Also, I’m thinking of making a flash coming-out-magazine-cover generator, because I feel like having a picture of awkward happiness with an “I’m gay!!” headline is a fundamental human right.

    • I was just as impressed with Tinkerbells journalism. If she can write a whole article im assuming my own dogs can at least write me an essay or two, it’s about time they did a bit of work!

      Im liking the magazine idea too, it’d be a great way to come out, if I hadnt come out already id make one up and send it to my mum, im sure it’d make the whole process easier! :-D

        • I think I need to get back into Country music, hadn’t heard of any of these either, until Autostraddle!

          Dogs are very clever. Has Tinkerbell got a theme tune? If not we should come up with one, you know like a cross between Inspector Gadget and that one for the Littlest Hobo.

          Hmm, that magazine idea too..I might keep that in mind, for when the time comes!

          Oh and Lou, I forgot to thank you for your advice last week, it wasn’t silly at all, in fact it was very much appreciated – so thank you!

          • Tinkerbell should have her own webseries where she travels around outing people and checking out all the latest hot gay places to go, with a good theme tune she’d be unstoppable! Ha, I know, I have no idea who they are either but well done to them for being all out and proud all the same!

            That’s no problem girl, make sure you take the initiative and get out there, there’s some seriously lovely gay ladies and gay guys out there, you just have to find them! Unfortunately you’ll have to be your own motivation as regards biting the bullet and getting going on the scene, but once you do hopefully things will get better from then on, good luck with it! :-)

          • It will be called ‘Mid-afternoon Snacks with Tinkerbell” and she’ll sit in Joey’s in WeHo all day waiting for Kate Moennig to stop for a smoothie. Haviland will probably stop by a lot too because she liked their salads.

          • Has it turned into a chat show, that could work too! Who wouldnt agree to an interview with a stuffed dog with a penchant for smoothies and Kate Moenning. She could even get her own little blue blazer like Liz Feldman had on her chat show This Just Out, what could possibly go wrong with this idea, nothing that’s what! :-D

  6. How many are coming out May 5? Just one. Chely. Surely you didn’t really think there would be two different country singers coming out on the same day? Lol!


    Because of Curve’s publishing schedule, they could only publish on-line excerpts from Chely’s interview on May 5, while the full feature comes out on May 25.

    • why the heck did they say that someone is coming out in Curve Magazine? MISLEADING.

    • Yeah, it seems unlikely two singers would come out on the same day. But you can’t come out on one magazine on May 5th and another in June! Chely Wright already “came out” yesterday (before the press release was sent to me). i am so confused by the world right now.

    • I just found out that Terri Clark is bisexual dating someone named Rob. She’s also an advocate for all gay lesbian and bisexuals and I’m not shocked buthurt a little, I thought she was a lesbian

  7. I’m happy for Chely, of course, but I’m also sad that the gay media’s “who’s going to come out” investigate-athon is at an end. It was fun.

  8. I think the funnest thing about this is the education I got from various sites’ lists of “People we all know are gay, so if it’s one of them no one will be surprised”. So many names I didn’t expect! So much happiness!

  9. This is ridiculous. I don’t care if she is gay or straight, but the timing of her announcement (years after her career started, the launch of a new album, the release of a book) makes me question her motives. Is she doing this for fame as http://www.weltbranding.com/blog/ suggests?

    • well, she is a musician and part of her job as a musician is to make money selling her records and other wares (such as her book). you can’t fault a girl for trying to make some money doing art instead of like doing something else that’s more secure but less contributory to the world. i don’t think she’s said that she’s doing it to advocate for equal rights or anything, I feel like she’s just said she wants to be open & honest… right?

  10. There is so much to talk about with this Chely business. SO much. I won’t lie – I was extremely disappointed because I had never heard of her and had dreams. BIG DREAMS, people! Now, I find myself outraged at the things people are saying about her – that she’s doing it for publicity, that she’s selling her sexuality for money, etc. Please. How many of us became independently wealthy when we came out? My mom certainly didn’t feel like bestowing a trust fun on me to celebrate the occasion. I find it ridiculous to imply that someone comes out for profit. Coming out is still a huge risk for a lot of people, personally and professionally. Chely is coming out to a fan base that is not known for it’s love of The Gays. From what I’ve read, she was leading a pretty tortured life in the closet so let’s just give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she is coming out because she wants to be free, because she wants to live honestly and have a shot at happiness. If people want to take aim at the idea that the GLBT community has become nothing more than a target market, let’s direct our anger at the companies and businesses who blatantly court us. Let’s not put a woman’s decision to come out in the same context and then question her motives and criticize her.

    Also, if you have been reading any comments on articles about her coming out, there are plenty of other reasons to be outraged. People are already pitting KD Lang’s coming out against Chely’s and the vitriol that is being spewed about KD is horrifying and only shows that acceptance of a person’s sexuality all depends on the “kind” of queer you are. Let’s talk about that.

    This rant was not a result of comments here but things I’ve read in other places. Also, I’m serious – there is a ton of stuff coming up around her coming out that we should talk about.


    • I think regardless of what her true motives are, she leaves herself open to criticism when she ties her coming out to the release of a new album and book which will obviously enrich her more than would otherwise be the case. This makes a discussion of whether she is “selling” her sexuality inevitable.

      Yes it has been very sad and surprising to read the discussions on lesbian boards of how happy some commentators are to see an attractive, feminine woman come out instead of another “fugly, butch.” These comments have been extremely disheartening. When someone says that it is good to have a “non stereotypical” lesbian come out, does that mean it’s bad when a “stereotypical” lesbian comes out? Would it be better if they remained closeted then so as not to reinforce the negative stereotype? If it benefits us to have someone who looks like her come out, then does that mean it harms us when someone who doesn’t look like her comes out? Is it of benefit to us if straight people like or accept Chely because she looks “straight”? How does that benefit those of us who don’t look straight? Gaining acceptance should not mean having to change who you are and having to change in order to fit what the majority thinks a woman should look like. Yet that’s what is being advocated when someone says it’s good to have women who look like Chely come out rather than someone who looks like kd, Melissa, Ellen. These discussions have revealed some things about our community I find very depressing. But at least Chely will be very happy with the sales of her new CD and book. I won’t be buying.

      • I think you’re totally right and it’s sad to see ideas like that slung abotu within the lesbian community. Unfortunately the truth is that Portia De Rossi is probs singlehandedly responsible for changing about 2 million ignorant dude’s minds about lesbians just being ugly chicks who “can’t get a man.” If those men didn’t have the right to vote for our rights, that wouldn’t really be our problem, but unfortunately it is. And for a celeb-obsessed culture, there are young girls in Kentucky who probs feel a little bit more normal seeing Chely Wright is gay too.

        So in conclusion, I think that it’s a sad reality that it does make a difference that she fits the traditional heteronormative concept of what a woman “should look like,” because that will change some people’s opinions. I think that Ellen has also done a great job transcending some stereotypes herself.

        I think in terms of how do we fix that… we need to change how society stigmatizes people with different gender presentations. We need to focus on teaching women that there is more to life than what they look like. We need to stop appreciating and elevating women based on physical appearance and treating women like commodities in advertisements and entertainment and mass media. That’s the root of the problem and I think that’s a problem we need to work at eroding every single day — because trying to get the guys watching football at Buffalo Wild Wings right now to change their minds about disparaging butch lesbians is nearly impossible. Broader cultural change is in order.

    • I’m with you, and also when AS did the Shelby lynn post, there were alot of people saying bad things about her because she seemed rude in her interviews. I say welcome anyone out of the closet with open arms. Whether you’ve heard of them or not and despite their attitude in interviews.

  11. I think there is more to Tinkerbell than meets the eye, not just a cute canine editor, but also master of mind/web control…either I imagined reading Tinkerbells editors note at the top too, or Tinks paws have found the delete button. Mind you today has been a very strange day, so who knows?

  12. k.d. lang is incomparable. There are not enough positives to say about her. That said, the cover of Vanity Fair being shaved by Cindy Crawford is not the move of someone who wants to be a part of Nashville-style “country.”

    It sounds like Chely has gone through hell. For business reasons Music Row is very, very image conscious. Only a few performers get through that filter — and only a few can keep it up. It’s no insult to k.d. to say she was tangential to that system. Is it an insult to Lucinda Williams? Bonnie Raitt? Emmylou Harris? Lyle Lovett?

    By the way, the city of Nashville itself is a kick to visit. Exceptional gay bars.


      and then i would go to the nashville wax museum to look at elvis

  13. …that’s it.

    Not only is Elvis ALIVE, he’s also a lesbian. And, um, a woman. Man, Curve really bagged an exclusive on this one.

  14. It’s totally rad that Chely came out… Unfortunately all of effing Nashville (Country Music Capital of the World, from what I understand) is under water in a flood that only happens once every five hundred years, so I have not seen this mentioned ONCE in local media…not the Tennessean, not News Channels 2, 4, or 5, not even CM freakin’ T. This would have gotten major coverage had not the ocean been dumped into middle Tennessee.

    We’re all just literally standing around watching the river.

    • first of all, that flood is srsly fucked up. also, i love love love it when you comment about local happenings! a) i know / love news channel 2 (4’s obnoxious and 5’s for senior citizens) and b) i read that last sentence with a full tennessee accent (complete with deadpan stare at the end) and it was the cutest thing ever.

      • CHANNEL 2 ROCKS. But no matter what station you watch, you are GUARANTEED to hear “And in Titans’ news…” every day of the year.

        All of my favorite places are flooded. 1st Ave, 2nd Ave, Joe’s Crab Shack, the Symphony, Opry, Opryland Hotel, Opry Mills Mall, the Nashville Predators have about twelve inches of water where the ice should be, LP Field is now a pond… it’s just crazy. Check out the Tennessean’s website for photos. If you haven’t seen them already, you will not believe it.

  15. well, is it sad that i’m going to my 24/hr walgreens and heading straight to the magazine aisle (at this time)
    whatever the answer is, i promise myself to have a total bf if they don’t have the magazines up… DEDICATION my friends, dedication

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  17. It’s going to be Chely at the cover of Curve. I’m sure of it. Don’t get your hopes up at someone else.

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