Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Adam Lambert Emerges From Shallowest Closet on Earth

Well, folks, Adam Lambert made it official today in Rolling Stone. He will not be having sex with me anytime soon. Big surprise, eh? Where's my cover story??

So, I doubt Glambert's gayfirmation shocked anyone who's not living along the banks of a certain river in Egypt. It certainly didn't floor me. But I'm glad that he finally said those three little words. Maybe now he can start making some music and kiss his boyfriend if he damn well feels like it.

When all the sexual speculation first started, I was endlessly amused by Adam's coyness about the issue. It was kind of ridiculous that he was constantly being pressed to "come out" to the world, when he'd never even been "in." I loved his response to reporters who tried to get his confession after those famous photos of him kissing another man and dressing in drag surfaced: "It is what it is." No lame cover-ups. No embarrassment. No hemming and hawing over what the definition of "is" is. He knew who he was and he never tried to hide or deny it. He just wanted to be recognized for his talent onstage, not for what he did in bed. Seemed reasonable to me. (Although if he wanted me to recognize him for...oh, never mind.)

But then I read this interesting piece in Queerty, which revealed that Adam's coyness might have actually been more along the lines of a contractual obligation. Now, I've always been aware that the American Idol contestants' lives are not their own. Those kids can't go to the bathroom if the producers and 19E don't approve it first. But I guess even cynical old me didn't realize how controlling TPTB actually were.

Adam told RS: "I was worried that [coming out] would be so sensationalized that it would overshadow what I was there to do, which was sing. I'm an entertainer, and who I am and what I do in my personal life is a separate thing."

I believe Adam when he says that. I mean, look at how sensationalized it all became just because he wasn't talking openly about being gay. So, I completely agree with the way he chose to handle things, but I don't completely buy that it was all his decision. I think he probably had a lot of pressure put on him to fall in line and only say as much as the Idol machine would let him say. And it will be a real shame if it turns out that this guy, who is an amazing talent and, by all accounts, a genuinely good person, is being manipulated. It seems that TPTB are claiming a big chunk of Adam - his sexuality - and using it to their own advantage. They kept it under wraps all season long to generate more interest in him and to keep the more close-minded fans happy. And now that the show's over, they can use his homosexuality to appeal to a wider audience, while making themselves look "hip" by really pushing that part of his image.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong. After all, the AI producers never put limitations on what and how Adam wanted to perform. (If they had really been afraid of alienating the audience, they never would've let "Ring of Fire" happen.) Bringing such a different kind of performer to the Idol stage in the first place certainly showed progression on their part. And the Queerty article makes a good point that since TPTB are allowing Adam to "come out" before he even records his first album, they must have faith that they can market an openly gay artist. So, maybe Adam and his backers both agreed on the "sing first, talk sex later" approach.

It seems to be an approach that Adam will continue to take, as he told RS that he wants to be "a singer, not a civil rights leader."

But whether he likes it or not, Adam may have to do some soapboxing if he wants to be known as just a singer, and not "that gay guy from American Idol." Because now that "Is he gay?" has a definitive answer, the new question suddenly floating around in the blogosphere is, "Will this hurt his career?" My gut wants to scream, "Absolutely not," but just the fact that so many people are asking this question leads me to believe that it's possible. I just don't get it. Aren't straight people the minority in the entertainment industry at this point? Why does this still matter??

Look, I don't feel like anyone should be forced to accept anything. If you think homosexuality is wrong, you're either always going to think that or change your mind on your own. I think there is a difference between acceptance and tolerance (even though I know some gays who would disagree), so if you can't find the former, that's fine. But you should always strive for the latter.

That's not my real issue here though. I want to be a blogger, not a civil rights leader, so I'm not going to get into a whole discussion about tolerance. And I'm certainly not going to get into a religious debate. But here's what, people. I don't care what your cultural or religious views are - if you can't enjoy a song (that you would normally otherwise enjoy) because you can't stop thinking about who the singer is screwing every night, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. Seriously. Since when do we have to approve of an artist's lifestyle before we can appreciate his or her work? Eddie Vedder supported Ralph Nader. Stevie Nicks was a giant cokehead. Led Zeppelin were a bunch of J.R.R. Tolkien-lovin' nerds. Axl Rose was, well, Axl Rose. Do I condone any of that? No. Does it matter? No. When those people start making shitty music, that's when I take issue. (For the record, neither Pearl Jam nor Led Zeppelin has ever made a bad album. Unlike everything else in this article, this is not up for debate.)

As for Adam's album, which is really the important thing here (of course, the story about his record deal was buried by the closet door opening heard round-the-world), he told RS that he and 19E are working on ideas now. As for what we should expect, Adam offered a little preview: "I could see myself probably doing a little bit of everything, like a rock-pop sound with, you know, really strong hooks...with kind of a glam edge to it...and all a lot of modern production. You know, dance-y, electronic type of treatment on everything. We'll make it sound really kind of current and futuristic."

Sounds like that album will be a true extension of himself - varied, exciting, provocative, and not easily labeled.


Fangirl sidebar: Do yourself a favor and check out Rolling Stone's behind-the-scenes footage of the cover photo shoot. Need three reasons? Okay...the poses are hilarious, Adam looks positively delicious during the interview snippets, and he does his own hair. Now go.

49 comments:

Kristi Mantoni said...

Excellent!! *clap*clap*

Loved it! I can't wait to get my sweaty hand on one of those magazines.

Anonymous said...

Adam seems like a really great guy and I couldn't care less about his sexual orientation, but I completely resent the fact that my preference for Kris Allen has somehow made me into a homophobe.

For the record, I wasn't convinced Adam was gay throughout his run on Idol. I certainly wouldn't have been surprised to learn that he was, but I wouldn't have been surprised to learn the opposite, either. I simply preferred Kris' type of music to Adam's, and if Adam's forthcoming album includes any of his promised "electronic" music, well, then, I will have only confirmed the choice I made when voting.

None of that makes me a homophobe, though. It simply makes me someone who has no interest in that style of music. My personal opinion of Adam is not at all affected by my opinion of his music.

BeckEye said...

Anon - Who said you were a homophobe? Adam's music isn't everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine. But there ARE people who won't support an artist they would normally like just because they disagree with his or her lifestyle. If you don't fit into that category, then you don't really have to defend yourself.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

LOVE HIM.
Couldn't care less about his sexual orientation.
He is absolutely talented and seems genuinely sincere.

Kudos to Adam!
Go set the world on fire!

cube said...

If I let an artist's sexual, cultural, or political view points affect me, I would have precious
listen to hear & watch. It's their product that I care about, not their personal lives.

Live & let live works for me.

Tony Alva said...

Beckeye, Perhaps the best thing I've ever read written by you. Well done. The dude sounds like he's got his head on shoulders which is why I just cannot understand why he'd want to bed down with 19E. Honestly, as good as he was, he would have been picked up by a label that would have not demanded indentured servatude.

Sorry, but his 19E record is NOT going to be good, because it will be a product of 20 NYC producers arguing about which synth patch sounds more "Adam" than the other (Beleive me, I've been in the room during these arguments during the 80's).

If I were him, I'd go midevil rebel and piss off as many at 19E as possible. Try and get them to make a record Adam wants to make. The publicity alone would give him some sorely needed cred.

Fuck the system!!!

Anonymous said...

He signes with 19E/RCA and they agreeed to His terms so hopefully all things will work out

red said...

When Adam was on Idolatry over on ew.com, he talked about the producers being very hands off with all of their decisions and basically said the ideas floating around that the producers are a bunch of Nazis, dictating the contestants every move, was totally unfounded. I think Adam probably wanted to let his music stand for itself and not be judged for his sexuality. I mean, I'm sure he's faced crap for his sexuality growing up...he knows the drill by now.

Alice said...

i agree... i am still kind of floored that adam "coming out" is such... well, "news." not because i thought it was obvious, but because really, there are this many people that care about his sexual orientation? what bearing does it have on ANYTHING? i guess a lot of people feel it does have a lot of bearing, on.. i don't know what. but they seem to feel strongly about it, whatever it is.

Shelly said...

SO well written, Becky. I agree that if you get distracted from someone's performance by their sexual orientation, you have problems. I also agree that Led Zep never made a bad record.

Soda and Candy said...

Oh my gosh, this was so well written it oercame my notoriously short attention span.

I know it's boring of me, but I totally agree with you.

The only exception I would make where I couldn't listen to someone's otherwise good music is if I knew them to be a pedophile or rapist.

Billy said...

I could be crazy, but I think it was in Adam's best AI interests to keep one foot in the closet during the season. Maybe I'm underestimating America (and I live in the South, which is worth noting), but I don't think he would have made the Top 4 or 5 had he come out of the closet. More than a few articles have noted that the conservative (Southern) masses are the most powerful voting block on AI, and they don't cotton to them kooky homo peeple.

So maybe it was the AI powers, or maybe it was Adam, or maybe it was a joint agreement. Regardless, I think it's worked out the best for everyone involved the way it's worked out, plus Adam gets a Rolling Stone "I'm Gay!" cover to boot.

And yes, if a musician has to be a flawless human in order to enjoy their music, then you'd best stick with John Denver and leave the rest of us alone... oh wait... maybe Pat Boone... oh wait... nevermind...

Petulance said...

Well said and well done. I'm very happy to see more articles supporting his actions than against. I've read a few (very few) who were against but they hardly mattered. I do think that even though he said he doesn't want to be a civil right activist, he is still doing so by being seen and being himself during a time in which gay rights is the civil rights issue of the era. There is more to helping a cause than soapboxing...being seen and existing eventually will make being gay a "norm"...maybe not overnight, but with people like Adam who just exist as themselves without hiding, it will indeed happen.

Thank you for this article..and thanks to Adam for his intelligence in handling the whole issue.

Yes, do yourselves a favour, watch the video.

Mathdude said...

Hey, how come nobody's talking about Kris Allen? Didn't he "win"?

Probably because there's nothing to talk about.

Cindy from MD said...

Thanks for another great article Becky. I think Adam will be in control of the music he makes. He doesn't seem like he would let anyone push him into doing anything he does not agree with. We can't wait for his album. Love that Adam Lambert!!

Anonymous said...

Great blog!! Adam is an amazing performer and I am looking forward to seeing what he does next. His talent should be the focus but I got a feeling he is going to be the fodder of a lot tabloids and TMZ for years to come. Hopefully he'll stay strong and do what he does best - sing!!

Anonymous said...

Nice article.
I could care less that Adam is gay. He's an amazing talent and I cannot wait to hear what type of music he makes. I don't care that I will never date him (lol), he is gorgeous and I'll enjoy simply looking at him. As long as he keeps giving awesome performances, and makes great music, he's got a dedicated fan in me.

Anonymous said...

I love you Adam...of course RS didn't surprise me...know it don't care if he is or isn't...what DOES drive me INSANE is the fact that he had to "come out" at all..straight people don't have to why should he?

Anonymous said...

and I love love love Adam: ) I am glad he is being himself...because hisself is fabuloso!

Knot said...

He looks like the Middle Eastern version of Prince.

Anonymous said...

oh and nobody called you a homophobe sheesh. And I don't get it when people say they liked Kris's music...he hasn't come out with a record yet? He was just using what he had to work with. Same as Adam..people say they don't like his music..or that they do or whatever..he too just worked with what he had...and Adam had the better voice that's why I voted for him...that's what the competition was about...

Erin said...

Great post!!

I can't wait to for his album to come out! He'll pretty much create his own genre.

*20 years from now* "So what kind of music to like to listen to?"
"Oh ya know, a little rock, a little pop, a little Adam-glam."

NetMeg99 said...

The only people who should be caring about Adams sexual orientation are the millions of women who can't have him...He is one Hot Package and has more talent than anyone in a long long time. Adam will rock the world! He already has and I am right here to support him all the way...And to all the lucky men out there...we women are very very jealous. But at least we can look at him.

Anonymous said...

Very well written. Now that "The" question so many wanted to know has been answered let's get onto a more important question.... When can we expect an album?!?!?

Melissa said...

Becky, what a wonderful article! I am glad that Adam did this. And I feel it was good for him to wait. No one seemed too surprised, and it was good to keep people guessing during the show. He's going to get more attention than ever now, and that would have hindered him on AI. The viewers really needed to focus on the music while he was on the show. Hopefully, we'll have a few weeks of the excitement over this "new" revelation and then he can get back to business, which is making beautiful music.

I am married with two kids and have nothing but continued love and admiration for Adam. He has become a daily name in our household since he auditioned for AI. He has also opened up discussions which have led to some great life lessons. I've always been open minded and a little on the creative/alternative side, but I really feel he's helping others who may not be so adventurous to see people's differences in a new light.

And how can we forget his immense sex appeal!! I do not feel any different about him because he's gay. I think he's amazing, and I want to be in this for the long haul and follow him wherever he takes me. If people out there who enjoyed Adam's voice before are now turned off by him because he's gay, well it's their loss! More for me, I say! Because I really feel he has endless creativity, and can offer so much more than just talent to the world. He's a beautiful person inside and out.

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON!!!!!!! CAN'T WAIT FOR THE CD...THAT'S WHERE THE 'REAL' SURPRISES WILL BE.

Cora said...

Well said, BeckEye!!

And I applaud Adam for coming out of the closet (even though that closet had see-through glass doors to begin with.)

words...words...words... said...

Excellent post and extremely well-written :)

I think no matter whose idea it was, it was the best thing for Adam's longevity on the show to refuse to comment either way on the issue of his sexuality. Likewise, I think the RS article was an excellent way to address it. He talked about it, it's done, we can move on and focus on the music. Much better to do it in-depth at one time than to have to address dribs and drabs of tabloid nonsense. He ripped off the Band-Aid, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

I luuuuuuuuuuve Adam! He makes music fun, exciting and spontaneous again. I supported him all through AI, went to the Today show to see HIM and believe it or not I'm a christian that absolutely loves him!!!

Paula said...

I think Adam and his management team are incredibly smart. I know middle America would never have kept Adam in there if his sexuality had been known, although how many hints does it take to get a message across. Civil rights are the big issue again, so Adam is certainly controversial enough to keep this pot boiling in the press for quite a while. Adam Lambert is a good hearted person who just wants to sing and buy a house. Maybe now he can actually get to perform, something for which he has a unique gift. He is a once in a lifetime thing. Everybody should be listening very closely!

Tonzey said...

Loved your post! And I agree with what Adam said in RS that "it doesn't matter, but it does"..to those of us who admire him and love his music, it doesn't matter, and I honestly didn't think he needed to justify his sexual preference, but then again I can see why he must have felt that he wouldn't be left alone until he did. So hopefully we can move on and look forward to his CD and tours.

BeckEye said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. And welcome to all the Glamberts!

I just want to respond quickly to that lovely wonder from down under, Soda and Candy, who said: "The only exception I would make where I couldn't listen to someone's otherwise good music is if I knew them to be a pedophile or rapist."

Well, yes. Obvs. But that's criminal. Having sex with kids is not a sexual preference or a lifestyle, it's a sickness.

Then again, I still love that Gary Glitter Christmas song. But I won't pay for it. I'll download it illegally. Let's see HIM try to sue ME.

ÄsK AliCë said...

I don't care who he's screwing, all I know is that it's not me.

Also, what's with all your anonymous commenters?

Bond said...

Wait? he is gay?


Incredible that this even matters

Gifted Typist said...

Not much more I can add to that. Adam rocks, as you said all along, whether he won AI or not. His sexuality is just a sideshow

Fancy Schmancy said...

Very well done, you should make a career out of writing. And civil rights.

Anonymous said...

Good for him. Not that it should be a question. The question should be are you going to buy his music. Gay or not the music is what matters.

Now Allison has also signed with 19 Entertainment, Danny has not signed with anyone yet. Both Chris and Allison has signed with Jive label while Adam will record with RCA.

I know I will be getting both Adam & Allison's music.

Soda and Candy said...

Thanks BeckEye! I just meant it as a sort of a postscript to the more general sentiment that it doesn't matter who you are as a person in terms of being able to appreciate your music. ie it only matters with such extreme things as crimes and not something as irrelevant as sexual preference.

bloody awful poetry said...

Dude, this is so brilliantly written, it's practically SICK. I agree with absolutely everything. And like Cube said, if I let an artist's lifestyle choices or personal beliefs or opinions affect me, I'd have like, next to nothing to watch or read or listen to. Kudos to this, mom. You are now officially cooler then me =)

Oh and I wouldn't know if Pearl Jam never released a bad record, but since you said they never did then of course they never did, because you say so and you are always right.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

HA Your title is hysterical true ture.

dguzman said...

You go, BeckEye.

Grant Miller said...

It would have a bigger deal if he'd come out and said he was straight.

Del-V said...

You know, I didn’t even watch Idol this whole season… I gave up on it some time around Sanjaya.

But well put!

Kimizzy said...

I have a confession. I sorta, kinda, and SUPER DUPER secretly, like "Halo" by Beyonce. But my standards disallow me to listen to it for longer than 3 seconds, because I hate that bitch. So, I guess that makes me a bigot.

Anyway, Adam is delicious. And wickedly talented. My personal diagnosis is he will do well. Shit, look at Elton John! "Heeeeey.."

Angell said...

To quote the blurb in our local paper

Adam Lambert: I'm gay.
The Sky: I'm blue.

Just as obvious. And just as irrelevant.

As usual, brilliantly written Beck. Glambert will outshine every AI artist because out of them all (with the exception of Taylor - sorry, still a Hicks Chick for life) he's got the smartest head on his shoulders.

I don't care where the other one goes.

Damn, did I just say that?

Me2 said...

Adam Lambert's songs are just outstanding as can be. Thank God for Adam's talent, it's like a breath of fresh air, and a long time coming.

Me2 said...

I don't give a hoot what Adam is or isn't, but what I do care about is the Adam Lambert exposure. I can't seem to get enough of that persons talent, DANG!!. Just thrilled with the fact that Adam will be around for a long time...

Petulance said...

oh and another thing, being a librarian...i totally read the cover when i first saw it as "the librarian of adam lambert" and wondered how they found out about me.

Me2 said...

Where is my Adam? I can't get no satisfaction!!!, where is my Adam?!!

 

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