Gay country star Chely Wright resisted ‘coming out’ to her family after her father switched off the TV during comedienne Ellen Degeneres big reveal, and called homosexuality “disgusting”.
The Single White Female singer, who revealed all about her hidden sexuality last month while promoting her memoir Like Me, admits she was watching the infamous 2007 Ellen episode with her dad and contemplated letting him know the truth.
Taping an appearance on DeGeneres’ daytime talk show, Wright recalls “I was watching the episode of your television show when you came out, oddly enough with my father… I was watching it with my sister and my father who did not know at the time that I was gay and you may not want to hear this part but I’m going to tell you.
“My father, the minute you came out, he reached for the remote control and flipped the TV off and he said, ‘That’s disgusting!’ It sends me into a spiral.”
That family moment set Wright back years: “I made that promise again recommitting myself to never again tell anyone, my family or the record buying public that I was gay.”
Wright eventually did tell her father the truth about her sexuality and she was stunned when he just hugged her and assured her everything would be OK, and she admits it was a book written by Ellen’s mother Betty, entitled Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey, which helped her find the courage to finally ‘come out’.
She adds, “I said, ‘Dad, I want you to read a book,’ and I had read your mother’s book and I was fearful that I would never have a parent like your mother.
“Now my dad is the biggest advocate. My dad has amazed me.”