Chely Wright to speak at Spirit Day in South Carolina
CHARLESTON – On October 16, 2014, Chely Wright, the only country music star who has ever come out as gay, will speak at the fifth annual “Spirit Day “ rally and candle light vigil at 6:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Charleston Gage Hall at 4 Archdale Street downtown. The rally is free and open to the public. Participants are asked to wear purple in a stand against bullying and to show lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth that their lives are precious.
Each year since 2010, We Are Family has hosted a “Spirit Day” event to support LGBT youth and to take a stand against bullying. This year, We Are Family has partnered with the Unitarian Church of Charleston to welcome Chely.
Named the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female Vocalist, one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People”, FHM’s Sexiest Women in Music and Out Magazine’s annual “100 People of the Year 2010”, Chely Wright has earned another prestigious title as the first major country artist to officially come out as gay.
After releasing eight studio albums and charting more than fifteen singles on the country charts, Chely Wright has sold over 1,000,000 records in the United States. Chely Wright’s first Top 40 country hit came in 1997 with “Shut Up and Drive” followed by her number one single, “Single White Female”.
Upon the release of her 2010 critically-acclaimed seventh album, “Lifted Off the Ground”, and her memoir, “Like Me”, the award-winning country artist and songwriter stunned the conservative country music world and made history by becoming the first major country music performer to publicly come out as gay. Wright has cited among her reasons for coming out a concern with bullying and hate crimes toward LGBT people, particularly LGBT youth, and the damage to her life caused by “hiding.”
The theme of this year’s event is “The Closet,” it and will bring to light the stories of youth who have suffered in silence. Sera Guerry and her mother Amy have been navigating the transgender world for Sera, who is a fourteen-year-old young woman who is a fully transitioned female. They are a self-described mother and daughter “team.” We Are Family Youth Advisory Board members Michael Isgett and Chase Hawes will speak about stigma around mental health issues. There will also be musical performances by Brendan and Dominic Kelly of A Fragile Tomorrow, The Charleston Vibes a capella group, and Ryan Lill.
We Are Family will host a post-rally VIP reception and fundraiser with Chely Wright and sponsored by Cummins from 7:30-8:30p at the Charleston Day School at 15 Archdale Street. There will be a musical performance by Ryan Lill, beer and wine, and a potluck meal. A suggested donation of $20 secures a spot at the event. However, space is limited to only 50 people. Donations for the receptions may be made here: https://secure.piryx.com/donate/KWkQJ2V0/We-Are-Family/spiritday2014.
We Are Family is a nonprofit organization that provides support and leadership development opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and straight ally youth. It is the second oldest LGBT organization in SC, and it is the only organization in the state dedicated solely to providing resources to LGBT youth and their families. These young people are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual and non-transgender peers. We Are Family creates an environment where LGBT youth can survive, thrive, and become leaders in their communities. We Are Family hosts a group for LGBT and straight ally youth every Tuesday night from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Meeting House at Circular Congregational Church. For more information, visit www.waf.org.
Each year, millions of people from all across the globe wear purple on “Spirit Day” in a stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth. Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, media outlets, corporations, sports leagues, faith groups, schools, local communities and even national landmarks. For more information about Spirit Day, visit www.glaad.org/spiritday