Country music and crossover singer/songwriter and author Chely Wright and her fiance, author and Faith In America Development Director, Lauren Blitzer are getting married today in a Connecticut ceremony. Connecticut is one of six states plus the District of Columbia where same sex marriage is legal. The couple resides in the state of New York (Brooklyn) where same sex marriage was legalized just last month. The state previously recognized valid gay marriages performed in states where such ceremonies are legal.
The couple are set to wed on the estate of Lauren Blitzer’s aunt. Family and friends will be in attendance. No word however on whether Chely’s mother will attend as their relationship is often strained.
In 1995 Chely was named the Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music. In 1999 her album “Single White Female” went gold and she hit the top of the Billboard Charts for the title track. Chely toured with Brad Paisley in his early career with him often opening for her until he gained popularity in his own right. She had an off again/on again romantic relationship with Paisley but broke it off when she realized that she would never be happy living a heterosexual lifestyle and denying her true feelings.
Chely came out in May of 2010. Country music has all but completely turned it’s back on the once rising star turned LGBT rights activist. She continues to write songs and perform and while she realizes she may never again be the country star she was/was on her way to being, she’s beginning to acquire a whole new group of fans – primarily LGBT fans – many of whom would never have heard her music in the country realm.
Chely released a book about her closeted life and her coming out experience in May of 2010 titled Like Me: Confessions Of A Heartland Country Singer. Chely’s story is heart wrenching…and I’me not just saying that to try to get you to buy a book! She went through the in the closet/coming out hell so many of us experienced but she did it while in the public eye and with little or no support…even from the woman she loved. In fact, she got shockingly the opposite from the one woman who, supposedly, loved her. You don’t have to be a country music fan for this book to move you! Her biography book sales have been strong as they have been garnering reader support from many walks of life.
In conjunction with her book, she released the album, Lifted Off the Ground, which is comprised of 11 songs – all written or co-written by Chely – and representing an entirely new sound for her. The album, which has received little radio air play, has slowly gained sales as Chely has toured and focused her very typical limitless attention on all new audiences of potential fans.
Lauren Blitzer plays no second fiddle to her music star fiance and, in a few hours, wife to be. She serves as the Development Director for Faith in America, a non-profit aimed at ending religious-based bigotry amongst the LGBT community. Prior to her position at FIA she was the Corporate Relations and Special Events Manager for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network). Lauren has also co-written a book with Lauren Levine titled, Same Sex in the City: (So Your Prince Charming Is Really a Cinderella) - Gallery, 2006. The book is a coming out guide for lesbians and the bi-curious aimed at the 20 something, urban lesbian market. It’s an entertaining, often tongue in cheek walk through an otherwise, oftentimes, difficult process.