The wonderful people of country music and radio businesses have, in general, been far more supportive of me than I expected in the 19 years since I started a personal gender transition which culminated in a 1995 transsexual surgery that had no negative impact on what has been a great career in a very satisfying job.
Garth Brooks released "We Shall Be Free" and performed at an AIDS benefit at about the same time and I drew tremendous support from that act from a courageous star.
Chely Wright, I hear, feels that the business could have been more supportive of her decision to come out in a public way as Lesbian. That's sad to hear, given her fabulous radio track record that 99 out of 100 hopefuls who come to Nashville have to be quite envious about, in spite of some ups and downs along the way. It exciting to see her finally coming to grips with it all creatively in a new film, out this month.
I've learned that we have to take our sustenance from where it comes and be grateful for the good things along the way, and I'll bet they have as well.
That's why, Country Radio and Nashville Music Business, I want you to be extra nice to Carrie Underwood right now.
I don't mean that you need to say a word about her pro/con on the air.
Part of making a self-affirming decision such as I made is understanding that as I resolved my own personal confusion it no doubt created confusion for others who were unprepared to deal with or accept it. Those folks have every right to their feelings too, of course, and country music radio is about reflecting real life and making people feel better.
All I ask is this. Play a little extra Carrie this week.
No one else will notice, perhaps, but I am betting she will know and get the message of support the same way I have over the years from Garth, Chely and now her.
That's what friends are for.
"17's" New Country Fav's - SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE boasts Country names this MONTH with its list of "The Hottest Country Singers."
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