Chely Wright On Hiding Her Sexuality: "I Was Ready To Take My Own Life"


On the Today show this morning, country music star Chely Wright — who recently admitted that she’s gay — talked about when she hit “rock bottom” and had a gun in her mouth.

First, Chely eloquently discussed why she felt the need to hide her sexuality, stating that the country music world is “conservative,” and that some believe that being gay is “sick, deviant and unacceptable.” She also said that lying and hiding impacted all kinds of relationships: “People thought I was snotty, or stuck-up, or detached, or hard to get to know. It was because I was living my life in the closet.” Chely stated, “Country music is widely known to be about God and country and family, and for some reason, people don’t believe that that can coexist with being a homosexual.”

Of finally coming out, she said: “I feel as though it’s my birth day.”

“I was living a secret life,” Chely explained about hitting rock bottom. “I had a nine millimeter gun in my mouth. I was taking inventory of my life… I gave up hope, and I was ready to take my own life.” Then she “finally” cried, got back in touch with her emotions and prayed. Instead of praying for a way to figure out how to “have everything,” she prayed for a moment’s peace — and said she heard God’s voice, saying, “I expect one thing of you, and that is to tell the truth.”

Though she speaks with composure and calm, it’s clear that Chely Wright has lived through tumultuous times; she admits that she was a “liar” when people asked about her sexuality. At 39 years old, her coming out may not seem like a big deal to some, but it’s a huge deal for her — and it’s possible that her story (minus the country star part) sounds familiar to many men and women is this country who feel that they can’t tell the truth.

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