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Like Me: Confessions Of A Heartland Country Singer Paperback – April 1, 2011
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I’m afraid of the thoughts that I’m having. My only relief is when I’m sleeping . . . When I am able to get rest, I risk dreaming of her. The dreams are happy ones, but then I wake and feel the truth bearing down on me . . .
I go upstairs and locate a loaded 9-millimeter handgun. It is heavier than I remember.
I say a prayer to God to forgive me and to understand why I can’t go on anymore like this. I beg God to realize that I will never be able to fit into the life that I’ve created, that I will never be accepted.
I pick up the gun and put the end of it in my mouth. It’s cold. I hold it steady and get my right thumb on the trigger and prepare to pull it by pushing it outward.
I close my eyes . . . thumb still on the trigger.
My mind is going a million miles an hour. I think of my family, my dogs, my friends, my fans, the sun, a kiss from Julia, and music.
Then I hear a noise.
It is the sound of my heart pounding in my head . . .” --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
While it is no surprise that her "coming out" was matched time-wise with the release of her album/book, I am happy to say the book is not a tell all ridiculous concoction of seemingly false or exaggerated encounters with famous and non-famous men and women. It is NOT about her life as a lesbian although this is an important part of her self. It's about much more than that.
The book is quite a read--very intriguing and extremely well written. Wright as a songwriter has a knack for poetic form to tell her story. Hers is one of a small town Kansan who moves to Nashville to follow her dreams. What a refreshing All-American story this is, and a reminder of why this country is so grand. I highly recommend.
Chely has mentioned that her coming out may ultimately end her career in country music. I beg to differ; anyone who picks up this book or listens to her new album can have nothing but respect for her work. Country music fans seek honesty and passion in their words and music, and that is exactly what Chely Wright delivers. Chely's honesty is admirable to say the least; her memoir will enlighten those with a more conservative mindset, and will comfort those who are struggling with their own personal battles. Harboring a secret of your own? You will not feel alone after reading this book.
Both followed a somewhat similar path to self-realization, feeling homosexual leanings at an early age and struggling to suppress these urges with prayer and by grasping onto romantic relationships with the "appropriate" gender. Mr. White eventually got married; Ms. Wright publicly dated men such as fellow country singer Brad Paisley. In addition, each of them held high places in occupations that demand a conservative lifestyle - he in the ministry, she in the country music industry. After failing in their efforts to change (or craft a double life), they ultimately came out to less-than-sympathetic peers and audiences as gay believers in God while leaving behind angry, hurt, and confused members of the opposite sex (and to be fair, gaining loving support from sympathetic family and friends).
When I read Mr. White's book back in the late 1990s I was a committed evangelical Christian trying to make sense of a hot-button topic in the Church. However, I went through "Like Me" in 2010 as an atheist who left the faith three years ago after finally losing the dubious ability to reconcile Christianity with rationality and personal experience. As for these two authors, somehow they manage to still believe that God exists and cares about them. In Mr. White's case he adopted a liberal view of Scripture that doesn't condemn homosexuality, while Ms. Wright simply feels in her heart that God loves her as she is. I wonder how they can still embrace religion at all after experiencing so much condemnation, but I understand how difficult it is to shake a dearly held and deeply ingrained belief system.
At any rate, "Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer" is an intriguing and plainly-written story of a woman's struggle to fit into a conservative subculture so she can do what she loves while figuring out her identity. I recommend reading this book with Mel White's "Stranger at the Gate" for a male's account of a similar journey. If you're Christian and/or conservative you may be dismayed by their actions and disagree with their conclusions, but both stories will challenge your thinking, and that's a key aspect of any book.