It has been nearly three years since Chely Wright became the first major American country singer to admit she is gay and she says it’s "great to be out."
"I don’t have the words to describe the freedom and the lightness and the reckless abandon with which I want to live my life," Wright said in an interview with CBC’s Q cultural affairs show.
Wright says she’s "soaking up every wonderful bit of life" – with experiences such as sharing Christmas with her partner Mary and her family to learning how to be married to looking forward to being a mother.
Wright, 42, is expecting identical twins in July.
Wright came out with a thoughtful approach that included the album Lifted Off the Ground, the autobiography Like Me and the documentary film Wish Me Away.
Wish Me Away, which followed her life from the period before she came out to six months afterward, has been nominated for a GLAAD Award for its outstanding representation of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
"I think the thing I remember most is the affirmation from — not just the gay community — the straight community. It shocked me how many people there were out there to support me," Wright said in recalling that pivotal few weeks in spring 2010.
Wright, who has hits such as Shut Up and Drive and Single White Female, says she believes she was "tethered" by her fear of losing her country music career. She got mixed reaction from the industry, she admits.
"We hang around on tour buses together, we know who makes the gay jokes," she said.
Reaction from fans was equally mixed.
"There are fans that say, 'I don’t care I’m gay too.' There are fans that say ‘I don’t care, I’m supportive, I have a gay sister and of course there are the fans that just told me they’re never going to buy my records again," she says.
But there are also people who are moved to rethink her attitudes by her story, she said. Some, like a fan who recently wrote to her, had their minds changed by the documentary.
Her father, a man Wright describes as a traditional redneck, found himself coming to accept her life just because he knew and loved her.
Wright says the experience has been liberating.
"I couldn’t be more thankful or more delighted to be where I am today," she says.