Chely Wright: “Wish Me Away”

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NewFest, New York’s premier LGBT film festival presents the feature-length documentary Wish Me Away: a personal and intimate look at Chely Wright, the first country music star to come out as gay. After a lifetime of hiding, she shatters cultural and religious stereotypes within Nashville, her conservative heartland family, and most importantly, herself.

The film will screen Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at the SVA Theater, New York City and feature a live appearance by Chely Wright.

Over a three-year period, award-winning filmmakers Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf followed Wright’s struggles – some of which were recorded on private video diaries – and her unfolding plan to come out publicly.

Using interviews with Wright, her family, key players in Nashville and her management team, the film goes deep into the singer’s back story as an established country music star, then flashes forward as she prepares to step into the media glare to reveal that she is gay. Finally, the film chronicles the aftermath of that decision in Nashville, her hometown and within the LGBT community.

Wish Me Away shows both the devastation of her own internalized homophobia, which led to Wright putting a gun in her mouth, and the transformational power of living an authentic life. It shows the struggles of being a Christian who happens to be gay, even within her own family. And it reveals how “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has found its way into the culture of Nashville.

Finally, performing before an LGBT audience of over 100,000, with the Capitol Building behind her, we feel both the excitement and uncertainty of the future that awaits her.

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