Country music star Chely Wright says
coming out gay didn't help her career, but she's OK with that.
An orchestrated whisper campaign had
Internet snoops guessing who would be coming out gay last May 5. It
wasn't long before several outlets noted that Wright was about to
drop an album, Lifted Off The Ground, and a memoir, Like
Me, on the same day and had been booked for several media
Wright's first interview was with
People magazine, whose online story hit the Internet before
her official May 5 coming out party.
Cynics have suggested that Wright's
high-profile announcement was more a fan grab than a soul cleansing,
something the 40-year-old singer has denied.
“They're wrong,” Wright
told lesbian website Autostraddle.com. “There's the gay
community that now knows my name and it's a long leap from the new
demographic of people who will come to my Facebook page and hit the
'Like' button to them buying my record and coming to live shows.
It's a big stretch from those new fans to make up for the fans I
lost. It didn't help my career. My record sales went directly in
half. If it appears from the outside in that it's helped my career,
it could be because I haven't talked about the negative. You won't
hear me bitching and moaning on my Facebook about the hate mail I've
gotten. My life has been threatened. I get nasty letters every day,
'I'm through with you Chely Wright, you're going to hell.'”
“There's a big difference between
press and advocacy and … sometimes people forget that people who
sing or make movies, this isn't just a hobby for us. This is how I
pay my bills. In coming out I had a feeling that it would diminish
my wage earning, and that feeling was correct. And, I am fine with