OFFSTAGE: Chely Wright Helps Nate Berkus Unveil NYC Center

On Wednesday’s (Dec. 29) edition of The Nate Berkus Show , you’ll see country music’s one and only openly gay singer, Chely Wright, stepping in and taking over for Berkus to reveal a brand new youth lounge at YES , a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center in New York City. After Berkus and his team completely overhauled the center, Berkus had to make a quick exit for an emergency appendectomy, so Wright stepped in to explain why having a place like this is so important. “I am from a small town in Kansas,” she said. “I scoured my little town looking for anyone else like me, and I couldn’t find anyone. I hit my rock bottom. I found myself in 2006 ready to kill myself because I had painted myself into a corner. I had created an entire life where nobody knew me.” In explaining one reason for coming out as she did earlier this year, she said, “I didn’t want to think about another kid sitting on the edge of his bed, or another young person like Seth Walsh. I couldn’t stand the thought of somebody feeling like there wasn’t somebody else like him or like her.” The episode also features Berkus talking with Wendy Walsh, the mother of the 13-year-old boy who committed suicide this year after being tormented by bullies. And the makeover of the center — which they renamed in Seth Walsh’s honor– was Berkus’ way of creating a sanctuary where young kids can just be themselves.