DIVA: Hi Chely. Congratulations on your GLAAD
CW: Oh gosh, thank you very much. I was thrilled to see that. I
love GLAAD and it's always great, as they say, to be
You're up against some great acts, aren't you? I saw the
Scissors Sisters got a nod, and a few others…
Yeah, it's a real category. Yeah, I'm really excited to be a part
of it. Everyday brings a new page of a chapter. It's certainly a
nice thing to wake up to.
I understand there's a documentary film that's in
production at the moment which follows your coming out
Yes, the filmmakers began following me around shortly after I
decided to come out and it's not my film it's made by, ya know, I
have no creative control over it. I think a lot of people think I
made a film, I didn't. But it's certainly a glimpse into the, you
know, inside the inner workings, the mechanics of coming out on
this level. But it's not just about a known person coming out. You
know, I think it chronicles the real struggle of anyone who is
ready to step out and make a declaration like that.
I guess it's a process for everyone, isn't it. It's not
just one moment and that probably is reflected quite well on film I
Yeah, I think it is a process. As I sort through mail that I get,
most of it is… a lot of it is supportive. You know there are people
who say you know "Why is your coming out important, more important
than ours?" and I've never said that it is. In fact I say the
opposite, I say that it's hard for a maths teacher to come out,
it's hard for everyone to come out. I just, this was just the way
that I wanted to use my public capital. Everybody to some degree
has a public capital. If you have a favourite maths teacher in your
school or ya know the mailman that everybody likes and doesn't
quite know the whole truth about. We all have a public capital.
This is just how I've chosen to use mine, but I think the process
for everybody is by and large dynamic and in a lot of ways
So, how did it work when they were making the film? Did
you have to be secretive about what they were working on at the
There were some scenes in public, and ya know with my band and
crew at certain events. And I think, we didn't really explain it,
people didn't really ask. My employees would never question me
about what it was for. If there's a camera crew around, they're
used to things like that. But I think if the question was asked to
the filmmakers, I think they said something to the effect of "We're
doing an EPK, an in depth on Chely's life". And that wasn't not
true, but they certainly didn't say she's coming out and we're
making a film about it. Much of the footage is private, and much of
the footage is the inner workings with me and my team, my managers
and publicists and best friends and ya know and my video diary are
a big part of it as well.
So it will complement your book, Like Me, quite
Let's hope so.I think the book hands off to the film and then
takes it from there.
And they're hoping to release it this year, is that
I think so yeah. It's going to be starting to hit some film
I know you went on some very high profile talk shows like
Ellen and Oprah, when you were coming out. Has Ellen had quite a
big impact on your life?
Ya know, she has. Rosie O'Donnell too. She invited me on her radio
show the day I came out or the day after I came out and I'll say
this, Rosie in particular and Ellen, they were mentoring me long
before they ever knew it. Now Rosie is a good friend and she
mentors me, and Ellen was very kind to me when I was on her
The interview on Ellen is lovely, actually.
Thank you. Well, you know, Ellen gets it. Ellen came out and lost
her career, ya know, a lot of people say "Look at Ellen, people
love her". People forget that she came out and she lost her show.
But as I was telling Rosie yesterday, she's such a good friend to
me but she fought for me long before I ever met her and she stood
up and she did it in the name of making something easier for other
people and so did Ellen and that's what, I hope, a new generation
of young people will… maybe I'll never meet them but maybe they'll
know that I was a friend to them.
That's a great thought. You're involved with a number of
charities, can you tell me a little bit about the Like Me
Yeah, this is a new non-profit that I started in 2010 and it was
just sometimes, you know your life kinda demands that certain
things happen and the response from my coming out, just really
moved this thing forward naturally. Like Me as a non-profit
organisation that is dedicated to engaging and informing and
providing assistance and resources to young people, not just LGBT
people but straight allies as well, people who believe in the civil
rights of LGBT issues. That's what this is about. A programme of
the Like Me foundation is the Lighthouse and we are building a
brick and mortar, a real LGBT centre, in Kansas City which is my
That's great. Before I let you go, I know you're
performing at The Dinah in April, are you looking forward to
Oh, I can't wait. When I get to a gathering of LGBT people they
thank me for coming, they always thank you for coming, and what
they don't realise is that I'm continuing to find my community and
when I'm in front of ya know four thousand lesbians, we're doing a
GLAAD event, when I'm in front of that many people, I feel less
alone. So I'm still learning how many people there are like me and
so it's a joy, it's a joy when I get to do that and then I get to
sing and play and do what I do.
Well, I hope you have a great time there.
Thank you so much, I can't wait to do it and I wanna get to the UK
That would be great. We'll look forward to
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