Why It Matters that Adam Lambert is (Probably) Gay
Posted on May 21, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
It matters that Adam Lambert, the heir apparent as the next American Idol, is apparently gay — precisely because it doesn’t matter.
First, whether Lambert is homosexual or not, he definitely is “queer,” a word many GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered) people have reclaimed from the dustbin of history as a proud self-identification. He gender-bends, he sings high notes, he wears makeup and jewelry. For a show about creating the next typical pop star, he is atypical. Simply being gay is, perhaps, no big deal — but Lambert flaunts his gender non-conformity. As he himself said, when photographs of Lambert kissing other men surfaced on the Internet, “I have nothing to hide. I am who I am.” Bravo!
This bravado stands in sharp contrast to previous generations of androgynous pop stars, who vociferously denied their gayness even as their obvious queerness was leveraged into worldwide pop success. Clay Aiken, George Michael, even Boy George all used to deny their sexualities — and Elton John hid behind “bisexuality” for many years as well. To most of us in the gay community, this was ludicrous; at the same instant these male stars were protesting the awful insinuations about their manhood, they flaunted their gender-bending and/or androgyny as part of their appeal. Not Lambert. He is who he is, and it’s fabulous.
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