Country singer Chely Wright has achieved great success in the music industry. But unlike her more conservative counterparts, the artist comes with some intriguing twists.
For one, she's a Christian and a lesbian -- a bizarre mixture of faithful, gay and country that seems to defy the odds. This week, the activist spoke with comedian John Fugelsang, who was filling in for Eliot Spitzer on Current's "Viewpoint," to discuss her sexuality and how she rectifies it with her Christian faith.
The singer-songwriter has traveled the nation speaking about her sexuality and her Christian faith, highlighting the issues that traditionally exist between the two attributes. Recently, she released a documentary called "Wish Me Away," in which her coming out process is documented.
In dialoguing with Fugelsang, she claims that she first realized that she was gay at the age of 9, a point by which she had already been baptized and had an unusually "strong faith."
Here's a trailer for the film:
As a teenager, she tried to very literally "pray the gay away" (a line that is often used to describe the efforts of those who embrace reparative therapy and the notion that people can change their sexual orientation). She would appeal to God with the following words:
"Dear God, please don't let me be gay. I promise to be a good person. I promise to do all the things you ask [me] to do. Please take it away. In your name I pray, amen."
Wright went on to say that she eventually came to terms with her sexuality. She says that she realized, from a Christian perspective, that lying about her feelings was wrong. She also says she knew -- through the gift of discernment -- that God made her who she was.
If praying for the Lord to remove her sexual attraction was the answer, Wright claims she would have been delivered, as she spent a great deal of time on her knees and begging for the Lord to take the feelings away.
Eventually, the pain became too much to handle. In 2006, she claims she had a gun in her mouth and was contemplating taking her own life -- not because she's a lesbian, but because she had created a web of lies she could no longer live under. After bowing down and praying to God for an answer -- "a way" -- she finally came to a resolution and embraced her sexuality.
"The way was that I needed to come out and start talking and never stop talking," she told Fugelsang. "I feel like I was delivered from my darkest hour to be positive."
Today, Wright says she's "the best me I've ever been." The singer is married to Lauren Blitzer, a charity worker and author (the two wedded in 2011). They live in New York City.
Watch the intriguing Current interview, below (pay attention to the portion of the dialogue in which Fugelsang claims that the Bible represents two characters -- a "God of love and light" and an "angry alcoholic step-God"):