Despite her professional success, Chely was haunted by her closely guarded secret. "I was never able to fully absorb the joy of my accomplishment. With each rung of the ladder I climbed, people wanted to know more," she says. "Had you told me in 2000, had you said, 'You're going to be the first chart-topping country music singer to step forward and acknowledge her homosexuality,' I would have laughed in your face. I knew it would ruin my career."
But, in May 2010, Chely made the decision to stop living a lie. In her memoir, Like Me, Chely tells the world she's gay and describes how a lifetime of deception almost drove her to suicide.