Counting down the gayest moments of the CMA Awards

When Chely Wright came out earlier this year, it gave a lot of lesbians the courage to stand up and say, "Hey, you know what? I also have a secret — I like country music!" Lots of lesbians had been closeted country music fans up until then because it is synonymous with red states, and red states are synonymous with gun-totin’ home schoolers talking about, "On the eighth day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so man could protect himself from the dinosaurs — and the homosexuals."

But, in the last few years, the country music industry has really started to grow outside the stereotypes. Last night’s CMA Awards hyped up Gwyneth Paltrow, Leighton Meester and Sheryl Crow as much as Loretta Lynn. And it raked in more viewers than the Emmys, for the third year running.

Miranda Lambert was the big winner of the night, bringing home three trophies (on her 27th birthday!) for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Music Video of the Year. Lady Antebellum continued their stellar trajectory, snagging the awards for Single of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year. And Sugarland won Vocal Duo of the Year for the fourth year in a row.

Of course, the CMAs are always less about awards and more about performances, and so I’ve ranked last night’s female performances from most gay to least gay, just for you.

CMA #1 Gayest Moment — Sugarland doesn’t include gay lady Kristen Hall anymore, but I’m still ranking them number one on the gay vector because as soon as they started performing "Stuck Like Glue" last night, my girlfriend bolted from her usual place in front of her Jennifer Nettles shrine to scream "I LOVE YOU! MARRY ME! MARRY ME! MARRY ME!" so loudly that I’m pretty sure they heard her in Nashville.

CMA #2 Gayest Moment — I was convinced Taylor Swift was going to perform her new song, "I Told You Not to Eff With My Heart, [Name of Famous Guy Who Effed With My Heart.]" (She didn’t; she sang "Sorry I Effed You Over in December, Taylor Lautner" instead.) You know who loves to air their relationship drama publicly under the guise of "just being honest"? Lesbians, that’s who. Taylor, we honor you.

CMA #3 Gayest Moment — Coal Miner’s Daughter just happens to be a favorite of both me and AfterEllen editor-in-chief Karman Kregloe. And that makes it pretty damn gay, I’m sure. I didn’t care much for the Sheryl Crow tribute, but I sure did love seeing Loretta Lynn and Sissy Spacek on stage together! ("Hells bells, Loretta!")

CMA #4 Gayest Moment — Gwyneth comes in at number four not because she’s practically English, which means she knows gay people with equal rights, but because I’m pretty sure she nicked her guitar from Rock Band. (And show me a lesbian who doesn’t love Rock Band!) I’ll see her new movie for sure, but the girl was not playing a real guitar during "Country Strong." (Or if she was, it wasn’t plugged into anything.)

CMA #5 Gayest Moment — If you like country music, don’t pretend you don’t want to make out with Carrie Underwood. She’s a gorgeous, animal-loving vegetarian with an angelic smile and crazy powerful voice. I’m ranking her at number five for the sheer number of lesbian shag vibes you were sending her way.

Geez, more country music singers need to come out — we know you’re in there! — because it’s nearly impossible to gay up the CMAs, even in my imagination!

I’m a Georgia girl, a country music fan through (my favorite Christmas album is Twistmas with Conway Twitty and the Twitty Birds), and even though Chely Wright wasn’t on-hand last night, I cheered and sang my way through the entire three-hour hoedown that was the CMAs. How about you? What was your favorite moment of the night?

(P.S. Dorothy Snarker dedicated her Tank Top Tuesday to country gals this week. Trust me: You don’t want to miss it.)