Wish Me Away is the incredibly moving coming out story of country music star Chely Wright. When I read a little over a year ago that Wright (who I did not know at the time) had come out my first reaction was “big deal.” After you watch the film you realize how difficult this process was for Wright mostly because of where she worked — Nashville. Don’t forget how horribly the Dixie Chicks were treated in Nashville not too long ago for public statements they made about the rush to got to war with Iraq. It’s a tough and very conservative town. Chely was the first high profile country performer to come out, something she had to do to save her life, and sadly, not for her, but for country music, she has now been forced to embark on a new life post Nashville. She’s not getting the invites to the Grand Ole Opry House but she is showing up at gay and lesbian centers across the country standing up for herself and the gay community.
The most interesting parts of the film are the private and personal moments that Wright recorded in her bedroom late at night as she was struggling with her decision to come out publicly. Hopefully, now that the president has come out for gay marriage and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, in the future, people will be able to make this journey in a less harrowing manner. The bravery of Chely Wright is truly inspirational to watch.
The film opens in NY today and is also available on demand. Info here.
Here’s an interview with Chely from CBS News.