For months it was rumored that country music singer-songwriter Chely Wright would announce that she’s a lesbian and appear on the cover of People Magazine. And this is the week, launching her seventh album, “Lifted Off the Ground,” released on Vanguard Records and her memoir, “Like Me,” published by Random House.
Wright’s long and arduous struggle to come out has transformed her also into an activist who’ll be joining the board of Faith In America (FIA), founded by furniture mogul Mitchell Gold.
“So what’s all this got to do with us?,” Gold wrote in an email to us board members. “On this Tuesday [May 4] she will be coming OUT….and speaking all her truths….how she was so close to suicide, how she now knows she can be gay and a Christian, how God created her and loves her the way she is…..all the things a 14 year old kid living in a home of country western fans might need to hear. All the things voting age fans need to hear.”
Faith in America, a national non-profit, is a North Carolina-based 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 with a mission to educate the public about the harm caused to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Americans when certain church teachings are misused to justify and promote hostile attitudes and actions toward us.
Gold said Wright’s life experiences drew her to the work Faith In America is doing, recognizing (LGBTQ) individuals suffer emotional, psychological and physical harm because of a societal climate that places a religious and moral stamp of approval on prejudice and discrimination toward them.
In a letter to board members Gold wrote us expressing his delight in having Wright come on the board.
“We discussed Chely joining our board and she wants to more than ever. In fact, in her new CD she has a wonderful insert telling people about 4 organizations she cares about. I’m very proud that 3 of them are through my introductions: Faith In America, Interfaith Alliance, and GLSEN. The other is “reading, writing and rhythm”, a non-profit she started that is dedicated to improving education in public schools.”
In Gold’s book “Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America,” it exposes the fear, isolation, depression, and even suicidal feelings young LGBTQ Americans face from the time they realize they are different until they have a healthy coming out.