Queer Nashville is pretty gay. Even the hit ABC television show Nashville has made closeted-country-star-wannabe Will Lexington a series regular for its second season. It’s fair to say that anytime an area is bolstered by the arts and entertainment industry, music in this case, you can expect the GLBT community to play a significant role in the area’s inertia.
And while its “Music City” moniker hinges upon the success of primarily the country genre—a genre whose industry and fans are traditionally viewed as anti-GLBT—it only takes a spin on the radio dial today to hear the impact that out songwriters are making on country music.
Earlier this year, hit songwriter Shane McAnally (Kenny Chesney’s “Somewhere with You,” Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” and Lee Ann Womack’s “Last Call”) was profiled in the New York Times as an out and proud songwriter. In fact, McAnally told the New York Times that his career really took off when he came out and that when he stopped hiding who he was, he started writing hits.
Couple that with country queen Carrie Underwood’s endorsement of marriage equality in 2012 and the recent letter signed by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Kenny Alphin (better known as “Big Kenny” of Big & Rich) supporting Illinois marriage equality, you might presume that Nashville has become a GLBT travel destination.