When she was a little girl, Chely Wright says she dreamed of becoming a country music star. In the small town of Wellsville, Kansas, Chely spent her childhood listening to legends like Loretta Lynn, Connie Smith and Buck Owens. "I read liner notes of albums much like a kid would read fairy tales out of storybooks," she says.

Chely says she also scoured country music history to find someone like her...someone different. Even as a child, Chely says she knew the truth about herself. She was a lesbian.

"I was told in church that there were building blocks of sin and evildoing, and these words were strung together to scare me—drunkard, thief, adulterer, homosexual. I thought, 'That's what I am,'" she says. "I prayed every day for God to change me. And it was: 'Dear God, please don't let me be gay. I promise to be a good person.' I said that prayer every day, multiple times a day."


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