Gay rights leaders have heaped praise on country singer Chely Wright for having the courage to 'come out' as a lesbian. The "Shut Up and Drive" singer, 39, confirmed reports she's gay in a People magazine expose over the weekend, and now plans to celebrate her sexuality openly at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in San Francisco on June 5.
GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios has applauded Wright for becoming the first mainstream country act to 'come out', stating, "Chely Wright offers country music fans a tremendous opportunity to better understand our community and the importance of conversations that move us toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality."
He tells WENN, "As more and more gay and lesbian people live their lives openly and honestly, acceptance and understanding of our community continues to grow. With her decision to come out, Chely Wright promises to be a compelling new voice in that discussion."
Wright will appear at the 21st annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco, where Cybill Shepherd and "Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire" director Lee Daniels will be among those celebrated.