What happened when country singer Chely Wright came out in 2010 makes it no wonder there was such a brouhaha earlier this month when Carrie Underwood stated her support for marriage equality.
While we consider k.d. lang a pioneer, we also think of her as primarily a pop vocalist, and Wright was the first notable country musician to come out publicly. The singer received some death threats and hate mail from conservative fans who couldn't accept her sexual orientation. Overall, though, Wright says the response was "really positive." Although no male country performers offered her encouragement, a few women expressed support, though not publicly. "Privately — Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, and Naomi Judd," Wright revealed to SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile. "I think some of the artists really have a fundamental belief that there's something wrong with me," she added. "But I think most of the artists don't want their fans to know that they're supportive of me because they don't want to lose a record sale. "The only ones who supported me publicly are Mary Chapin Carpenter, LeAnn Rimes, and SHeDAISY," Wright said.
Although it's two years later and Underwood touched on the marriage issue, she is actually not alone in speaking out for LGBT equality. On the following pages, learn about some of the other country performers who have publicly expressed their support for LGBT causes.