I know some of you will accuse me of having fallen off the back of a turnip truck. Although we are in the Obama era, all “Yes we can!” and stuff, I am aware that this country has a long way to go in terms of mutual acceptance of our brethren. Even so, it is still possible to surprise me.
That happened again this week with “news” that American Idol runner-up (it still irks me that he didn’t win) Adam Lambert has come out of the closet in the latest pages of Rolling Stone. There are a couple things about this which bother me. For one, I kind of figured out Lambert was gay the minute he came onstage during Hollywood week and sang a kick-you-in-the-ass cover of Cher’s “Believe.” My obvious question is: so what? Does that change the fact that the dude is a once in a generation musical talent? Unfortunately, Queen frontman and legend Freddie Mercury was forced to hide his sexual light under a bushel, but that was the 70s. I say that with a keen and painful awareness that we have obviously not come as far as I had hoped.
The Lambert/Mercury comparisons do not stop with sexual preference. Both men remain elecrifying rock performers. Through Freddie’s death, he has been relegated to hindsight, but it does nothing to diminish the powers of his gifts in the present day. I fully believe that Adam Lambert is capable of such greatness, with or without the Idol trophy. I look forward to many years of following his career and attending his shows.
The second part of the problem with this public media “revelation” is that it carries the implicit assumption that Lambert owes it to America to come clean, so to speak, about who he is. Again, why? Rock n’ roll has a long history of male whores such as Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, Fred Durst, etc. They do not have to repeatedly reaffirm, with heads bent in shame, that they are straight. Boys will devilish boys, doing what is expected…..unless they choose to sleep with men after the show? Adam Lambert has a steady boyfriend, and is musically gifted. What else do we need to know? I would rather see Bret Michaels under the hot lights, grilled about the necessity of yet another season of VH1’s Rock of Love.
It is apparent that Lambert is not using his homsexuality as a marketing gimmick. I have the impression that he has only made this “announcement” because of relentless media speculation that he figured would be better put to rest. I suppose Adam wants to avoid the years of endless “Is he or isn’t he?” speculation that dogged Season 2 also-ran Clay Aiken.
Now that Lambert has given the vultures what they wanted, I hope we can move on. This interesting story from Reuters raises the inevitable specter that Adam Lambert lost the Idol competition to the wholesome Kris Allen, due to “Red State” disapproval of Lambert’s style:
God, I hope not, but anything is possible. It is 2009 America. According to a number of reliable sources, 10% of the world population is gay. That means that roughly 1 out of every 10 people you encounter is homosexual. Shouldn’t we all be comfortable with this by now? If not, why?
Adam Lambert says it best: “I’m proud of my sexuality,” he said. “I embrace it. It’s just another part of me.” He seems to be a savvy gentleman with a healthy ego and a strong support system. He is not using his sexuality as a media tool, like say, Lindsay Lohan. Whether or not you are a fan of Lambert’s music, the decision should have nothing to do with what goes on behind closed doors.