She has released three more albums, appeared in a film about coming out in Country Music, and wrote a book about her life, and yet she is not invited to appear on the Opry stage any more. In the past, Wright has about how her 'coming out' affected her career as a country singer, but says she doesn't dwell on the negatives:
"I don't wallow around in any lack of public support by my industry. The headlines that get picked up and the sound bites suggest that I'm devastated, but I'm not really that hurt by it...I'd love to see some real public support for the LGBT community from my industry."
Wright says she's received some private support from industry people in Nashville, but there's a long way to go:
"I do think that there are homophobic people in the industry - some of them in power. I feel that the greatest setback that plagues the country music industry is their collective fear of the consumer's expected homophobia. I call this fearphobia. The industry is afraid of the record buying public's fear of gays and lesbians. They're afraid of fear. And that fear is enough to cause silence. And it's deafening, if you ask me."
And now her fans, both straight and gay, are hoping to change that with an asking the Grand Ole Opry to invite her back.
Like I said, I’m not much of a country fan, but I am a fan of the LGBT community, and I’m not much of a fan of homophobia. It seems clear that the minute Chely uttered the words “I’m gay” she became persona non grata in country music and it’s about time that changed.
Not every person in the country, who lives in the country, or listens to country music is a homophobe; I think people just want good music, and it shouldn’t matter whether the person singing is gay or straight.
They should just be good.
Go HERE to sign the petition asking the Opry to have Chely Wright back on their stage. Even if you don’t like country music.