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Chely Wright to Frank Ocean

Coming Out is Liberating

But Career-Damaging

7/4/2012 8:33 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0704_getty_chely_wright
Country star Chely Wright -- the first gay country singer to come out of the closet -- tells TMZ, she was moved to tears when she read Frank Ocean's declaration that he's gay (or bi), but she says freedom comes at high cost.
 
Chely says, "I can't think of a better way for Frank to celebrate Independence Day.  It's spectular."
 
But Chely also says she realizes many country and hip hop artists and fans have an intolerance toward gays, and it certainly has had an impact on her career.
 
She says her record sales have dropped to 1/3 of what they were before she revealed in 2010 that she's a lesbian. She also said that a number of venues have made her persona non grata, because they fear fans will boycott her performances.
 
Chely also notes that no other country star has come out of the closet since she did, but says both she and Frank are forging a path that will eventually allow people to live their lives openly and without shame.

So we gotta ask ...

132 COMMENTS

No Avatar
61.

Tayshawn    

i don't care what all these people do.but why is this so important? if Frank wants 2 sleep around with guys,so be it. who cares? and why do these peoples think hey are special or different? maybe i will come out also.people i am hetero!!! i AM a girl and i love guys!!!!!! please TMZ post that...

749 days ago
62.

West Vasquez    

This website must be run by republicans because they are the only people that care about gays and who is gay and anything else that is gay; because most republicans are gay. Self hating gays trying to keep other gays down by ridicule or other means like this website that has nothing better to d o than comment on who is gay.

749 days ago
63.

shala    

this is a load of crap. I love chely but you have to have a recent record for your career to be hurt when coming out. she hasn't had an album in years!

749 days ago
64.

static    

It's 2012 get the eff over yourself ,how narcissistic to believe you are some kind of trail blazer because you declare you are gay.

749 days ago
65.

kitnplayn    

Americans need to stop being self-involved and intolerant. The world is full of different people and different cultures, and that is what makes it exciting. If everyone was the same, it would be a dull life. Grow up and live a real life instead of copying your cranky old elders. If you don't wanna get intimate with someone of the same gender, then don't...but stop chitting on everyone else's choices. If you are going to enjoy your choices and freedoms, then you have to give the same rights to everyone. Live and let live. Be happy. Be tolerant. Behave. It's very rewarding.

749 days ago
66.

KPCATZ    

U didn't have a career to hurt.......stupid. U had one song that did okay. No blockbuster........ Wow!!!

749 days ago
67.

lala4922    

"She says her record sales have dropped to 1/3 of what they were before she revealed in 2010 that she's a lesbian"

Maybe this could also be a result to the simple fact that she hasn't had a popular or quality single since 1999?!? Just maybe, I dunno?!?

749 days ago
68.

Elizabeth    

I can't believe she is still trying to milk the same story!

She did not become less popular because she came out, her career had already faded and she made her big announcement to try to get back into the spotlight.

749 days ago
69.

nof    

If she says this is had a huge impact on her career then why is this even an argument.


What is this, "Let's challenge the premise?!"

749 days ago
70.

Phreaky    

This is hilarious - I had never heard of this woman in my life until she came out. But her career is suffering? I don't think proclaiming you are gay was the problem. LOL

749 days ago
71.

nof    

It's scary for these people to come-out.


-Imagine if Frank Sinatra announced, and early on?


-He liked dudes.


-Who kills him first...


-The mob?


- or the record company.

748 days ago
72.

ammar    

maybe her music just sucks and her coming out is an escape goat for crappy record sales.

748 days ago
73.

paigehop    

Self-inflicted insecurity make celebrities declare this nonsense, and thus ruin their own careers. Really, very Self-damaging.

748 days ago
74.

paigehop    

Celebrities "coming out" is pathetic and self-damaging, for no good reason at all, except to savve their own insecurities. Very stupid.

748 days ago
75.

rowdygirl    

She's gotten more press for "coming out" than she ever did singing. She had maybe one hit.. that doesn't make you a superstar.

748 days ago
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