Sugarland’s Kristen Hall also ‘out of the country closet’
To the Editors:
I was surprised to see your article on Chely Wright titled “The road to country’s first openly gay star” (June 11) which questioned “if kd lang should count?” The answer is neither was the first openly gay country music star!
Jennifer Knapp, a Grammy nominated, Dove Award winning Christian recording star, has just released “Letting Go” – her first recording in nine years. She is currently touring and will be a performer on the 2010 Lilith Fair tour at shows in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri.
Knapp recently talked with the Georgia Voice about her former career as a Christian performer, her seven-year hiatus in Australia and her return to the music scene as an out lesbian.
Last month, for the first time in the history of country music, an established country singer came out. In the May 17 issue of People magazine, Chely Wright discussed how she knew she was gay by age 9, but thought she had to hide it to succeed in music — living a lie that drove her to consider suicide in 2006.
Wright had her biggest hit in 1999 with “Single White Female,” which went to No. 1; made People’s list of Most Beautiful people in 2001, and dated fellow country singer Brad Paisley. In her People interview, she described how she decided to come out when making her new album, “Lifted Off the Ground.”
Some may argue that Chely Wright isn’t technically the first major country singer to come out as gay.
Butch crooner kd lang had three country albums under her belt — along with the 1989 Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance — before she discussed being a lesbian in a 1992 interview with The Advocate.
But it’s difficult to consider lang the first mainstream country artist to come out because she was never really “in” — neither in the closet nor accepted in the Nashville-centered world of country music.
A clinical psychologist in Atlanta, Dr. Glenda Corwin has spent a decade focusing on sexual intimacy between women. Her message to female couples? The rumored and feared “lesbian bed death” doesn’t have to happen, but it takes work to keep the sexual flames burning.
“Over the years working as a therapist with lesbian clients, I have heard them discuss their fear that there’s no way to keep passion alive in a long-term relationship – that lesbian bed death is inevitable,” Corwin says.