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Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,810 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Chely Wright, singer, songwriter, country music star, writes in this moving, telling memoir about her life and her career; about growing up in America’s heartland, the youngest of three children; about barely remembering a time when she didn’t know she was different.
 
She writes about her parents, putting down roots in their twenties in the farming town of Wellsville, Kansa
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Pantheon (first published 2010)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  1,810 ratings  ·  170 reviews


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Née
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this without knowing anything about Chely Wright, and it actually made me a permanent fan of hers. Such a unique and well written book about her struggles as a gay country music singer trying to make it big and fit into a world that doesn't know what to do with people that are different.

What I found most interesting is Chely's self-destructive behaviour throughout this time, where her struggle to balance her religious beliefs with her clear and defined homosexuality ultimately lead to dep
...more
Sarah Fonseca
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit worried that this book would be 200-someodd pages of Chely Wright asserting her heteronormativity. Thankfully, I was proven wrong within the first few chapters. It quickly becomes evident that, by publishing her memoirs, she placed a lot on the line--and not just by simply disclosing her sexuality.

In Like Me, Chely also slaps various institutions and public figures on their bigoted wrists (John Rich of Big & Rich fame, Dick Cheney, The Boy Scouts of America, and so on...), all while
...more
Danielle
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
I'm not a big country music fan so I didn't know who Chely Wright was until I saw her on Oprah, but I was so moved by her story that I decided to read her book. This book should be required reading for all those who believe that being gay is a choice people make, or that those who are gay are morally bankrupt or without God in their life. Chely's story is heart wrenching, here is a woman who has a personal relationship with God and is so tormented by her homosexuality that as a child she starts ...more
Mo
Aug 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lesbo-a-go-go
Normally, I am not a big fan of contemporary country music (surprise). But when I heard that Chely Wright had come out as a lesbian (on Oprah, no less), my jaw dropped. This book is simultaneously heartbreaking and infuriating. Although while reading it sometimes I kind of wanted to shake her and tell her to get a backbone (or kick the guy from Big & Rich's ass for her), it was a more than worthwhile read. I actually couldn't put it down. Sometimes when you live in a big city and surround yourse ...more
Suzie Carr
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of Chely Wright and I support her LikeMe Organization with monthly book proceed donations. I'm sure this book will touch many lives. She was honest and forthcoming in her story. Her story is an inspiration.
Agent Smith
Jun 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
I never heard of Chely Wright until I saw her story on Entertainment Tonight. I was frustrated with parts of this story and near the end I lost interest completely. It was frustrating to read about the lengths she went thru to hide her sexuality when she refused to educate herself. One part in the book she talked about how she wouldn't be caught dead with any books or materials about homosexuality. How can you be scared to educate yourself?? I did not understand this and I felt no empathy for he ...more
Kathryn
I am not a country music fan so I was not familiar with Chely Wright. However, her story touched my heart. My life and her's parallel in that she comes from 'Biblebelt' America; nothing about her says "Gay" and she fought being gay and prayed to God every day to take it from her. Me too! She also had family that ridicule gays at every opportunity. Me too! Under those circumstances it's hard to wave a flag and say "Hey everyone, guess what - I'm gay."

I eventually got away from "Church People" tha
...more
Jess
Before hearing about this book, I'd never heard of Chely Wright--or, at least, I didn't think I had heard of her. But I decided to look her up on YouTube, and then I realized that I'd heard her song "Single White Female" about a million times when I was a kid and would be in the car with my dad. He only likes country music sporadically, but when this song came out, he was having a country summer. It all came flooding back to me!

I can see how this book made quite a splash when it came out almost
...more
Travis McClain
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's not uncommon for a recording artist to pen a memoir, or to release a companion album. It is, however, unprecedented that a mainstream country music artist would use the tandem to step out of the closet. Some balked that Wright was a "has-been" who was trying to "cash in" on her sexuality for an extension on her 15 minutes of fame. I suspect those people failed to actually read Like Me, because they are exemplary works worthy of recognition. It's as though her entire public career existed in ...more
Niki
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Whether you are a star in Nashville, or a waitress making ends meet in Anytown; straight, gay, or uncertain... you will understand Chely Wright's story as she has written it so eloquently that any person of any background can find a way to relate to her. This is not a book about being gay, being an entertainer, or coming out of the closet. This is a book about one person's struggle with all of life's complexities, and what she needed to do to be able to live her life to its fullest. She touches ...more
Alo Evans
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
As many other reviewers will no doubt have already said, this was a pretty good story which was not really written all that well. It was interesting and very simply written, which made it easy to geth through. However, there were so many instances which made me think that she really could have used the help of someone who has written memoirs before. There was a lack of continuity through the whole book. There was little order, chronological or otherwise. Oftentimes, chapters were 2 or 3 pages lo ...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So I first got introduced to Chely Wright's music when I was staying with a friend in Colorado with a song called Single White Female. I thought she was very cute. Turns out she is a lesbian country music musician which probably, judging by reading this book isn't easy.

She visits soldiers in war torn parts of the world and entertains them and signs stuff for them. She seems like a genuinely nice person. But there are people who would hate her ONLY for being a lesbian. How does that make sense?

I
...more
Sandy
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty easy read and country singer Chely Wright's got a good story. I think she did a great job nailing what being in the closet makes a person do and the toll those choices take over time. It's not always chronological, which can sometimes throw you. It feels more like you're going through a box of photographs of her life, all thrown in together in no particular order, and she's telling you about each one as she pulls them out of the box. And that's not bad, just a little different. ...more
Beth
May 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've followed Chely's career in country music pretty much since the beginning. She's always been one of my favorites.

And now, reading this book, my admiration for her has only grown. She is truly an amazing human being.

It's hard to believe this is a first book...a memoir, one that touches on subjects as close to her heart, that speaks truly and openly of who she is...it's beautifully written.

Much love for this book and the woman who wrote it.
Holly
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
She gets 4 stars for guts, honesty and likability. I wanted to know more details about her career but that wasn't really the point of the book. The documentary about her - "Wish me away" - is even better. She may have lost lots of fans because of this book but I'll bet she's gained a bunch too (me, anyway!).
Andrea
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So I love autobiographies and memoirs, especially those that get down to the nitty gritty of one's thoughts and experiences. I heard about Chely Wright's book when I saw a clip of her on Oprah "coming out" to her and was intrigued. She dated and slept with fellow male country singers (particularly Brad Paisley who is quite attractive), so her story was quite intriguing to me. I am not a fan nor did I know much about her other than she was a country music singer and dated fellow male country musi ...more
Brenda
Jan 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
I am not a fan of autobiographical material in the first place and this hasn't helped my opinion. I felt the book was choppy and self indulgent. I got the topic very clearly after the first chapter, so I don't understand why she's still whacking me over the head with it by using the word "gay" 5-6 times per page thereafter. I think that if one was really concerned about how much they "damaged" another person by the lies one told, we wouldn't then follow it up by naming them in a memoir and throw ...more
Jim
May 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, kansas, sanity, women, music
read this yesterday. reminded me some of Prayers For Bobby, but w/a much happier ending. there are, i guess, three big revalations in this book; 1 - Chely is gay, 2 - she and Brad Paisley had a relationship and 3 - john rich is a testoserone fueled twit.
Chely is gay and involved w/Brad Paisley which means Brad Paisley is a woman. sadly, no, but wouldn't that have been a cool headline?
john rich is a testosterone driven twit is a kinda given. male country music star in Nashville what would you e
...more
Katie
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Devon
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I enjoyed the book and one of my favorite lines from it is this:

"I am gay, I am not seeking to be "tolerated." One tolerates a toothache, rush-hour traffic, an annoying neighbor with a cluttered yard. I am not a negative to be tolerated, and I don't think that other minority groups would feel comforted and equal to hear leaders of the general public self-righteously proclaim that "we" should "tolerate them." That's not equality."
What a powerful statement and one that I would hope everyone could
...more
Joni
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I respect and honor her honesty and courage to take a stand for herself. Beautiful!
Jerrod M Webb-Gaudian
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly beautiful!!
Dana
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A lovely memoir from the first out lesbian country singer. Well-written and with a happy ending.
Amy
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recently, I watched the documentary, "Wish Me Away", which movingly displayed Chely Wright coming to terms with her decision to come out as the first openly gay major country music star (although k.d. lang did come out years before Wright. So really, arguably, Wright was one of the first rather than the first). It was fascinating, tender, and beautiful, as well as intriguing to watch her going through the process of writing her autobiography, which is this book I have just finished reading. I re ...more
Vickie
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Chely Wright's Like Me starts very promisingly, with a bang. Or, rather, the absence of a bang, as she confronts her darkest hour, gun in her mouth, and decides to put it down. From there, an outpouring begins, a flood of self-recriminations, guilty conciouses, hollow joys and a hand extended in solidarity to every person who has ever experienced a life like hers.

A memoir is a touchy thing for me. Normally I think they're boring and lame. The last two that I enjoyed, The Natural Laws of Good Luc
...more
Emily
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Chely Wright's Like Me suffers from some of the same problems as many memoirs - in fact, you could say these attributes are essential to the genre of confessional memoirs. There's quite a bit of name-dropping. There's also lots of jumping around chronologically, which can be confusing, though you could argue that the short chapters are actually intended to be thematically grouped vignettes, I suppose. There are the obligatory swipes at those who she felt deserved to be taken down a notch - like ...more
Kristin
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
When I learned of the story behind this book, I was deeply saddened. Not that Chely is gay, that part doesn't influence whether I like or dislike her music, but that she felt so ashamed of her secret that it almost cost her her life. As I listened to her songs in the days following her coming out, all I could think about was how she nearly chose to silence that beautiful voice and what a loss that would be to the world. I was interested in reading Chely's book because I've always enjoyed her mus ...more
Lacey Louwagie
“My policy was that if something I might do or say were to put off just one of my one million fans, I wouldn't take that risk. I believed that I had it in my power to maintain the approval of all one million people, and anything short of pleasing every single one of them was unacceptable to me.”

I usually don't read celebrity biographies, but Chely Wright's documentary about coming out as gay ("Wish Me Away") is so well done and moving (my husband and I both cried) that it piqued my interest in r
...more
Lissa
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book starts out detailing Chely Wright's low point in life; alone and teetering on the edge of a breakdown, she contemplates suicide. But, thankfully, she doesn't do it. Instead, she decides to come out of the closet, in spite of the potential consequences to her career, not only to her family and friends, but to the world.

While a typical memoir in many regards - Ms. Wright details her childhood, which wasn't idyllic, as well as her rise to stardom and her involvement in USO shows for the tr
...more
Bett
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I just watched this documentary that chronicles Country singer Chely Wright's painful journey toward coming out. This is simply a wonderful documentary that I believe should be seen by teachers, by parents, especially by kids who might be just like Ms. Wright, as she tells what it was like for her as a child growing up in a small Kansas town, who went on to achieve her dream of becoming a singer and songwriter in the country music industry with great success, winning awards, having hit records.

I
...more
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Chely Wright is an American country singer and gay rights activist.

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“I hear the word "tolerance" -- that some people are trying to teach people to be tolerant of gays. I'm not satisfied with that word. I am gay, and I am not seeking to be "tolerated." One tolerates a toothache, rush-hour traffic, an annoying neighbor with a cluttered yard. I am not a negative to be tolerated.” 54 likes
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