Earlier this year Lesbian Country-Western singer Chely Wright gave Edge readers her first gay media interview, proclaiming that she’s "so excited to be a real member of the gay community." Her statement, which came the same week that her memoir, Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer," and her first album in five years,"Lifted off the Ground," were released, made national headlines.
Now, six months after her coming out, Wright’s back in the news, as her LIKE ME® Foundation announces the new "Lighthouse Project" and "The Chely Wright Like Me Scholarship."
Wright serves as spokesperson for The LIKE ME® Organization, a non-profit she founded earlier this year focused on bringing together friends, family, fans, and supporters of the LGBT community to build assistance, resources, and education to LGBT individuals and their family and friends-while addressing issues of bullying and teen suicide.
The LIKE ME® website www.likeme.org provides links to LGBT education and health resources, as well as an interactive message board for those who wish to share their "personal stories" with others, or receive answers to anonymous questions about their own LGBT experiences. Gay, Lesbian, Bi or straight, visitors are encouraged to be part of the conversation.
As mentioned on the Nate Berkus show today, The Like Me Organization is thrilled to announce that the first recipient of The Chely Wright Like Me Scholarship is Shawn Walsh. Shawn is the brother of Seth Walsh. Seth, a 13-year-old Tehachapi, California boy killed himself after enduring anti-gay bullying at school.
To further the goal of bringing awareness to issues that concern LGBT individuals, their families and their friends, The Like Me Organization has initiated The Chely Wright Like Me Scholarship. It will be awarded up to 5 individuals a year who have actively advocated or made a difference in their High School. Berkus was moved by Wright’s gift to Shawn Walsh during the show’s taping and in front of a live studio audience, Nate very generously donated $15,000 to Like Me.
The Like Me Organization is also excited to announce The Lighthouse Project. Like Me will open the first LGBT education and community center "The Lighthouse" in Kansas City in 2011. The first center will be opened in the Midwest because there, in Chely’s home state, the needs for understanding and education are among the greatest in the nation. Everyone will be welcomed at the LIKE ME Lighthouse and may visit the center for information, guidance and resources.