Across the last decade, FOX’s American Idol has produced some awesome musical talent, like David Cook, and also some hilarious personalities, like William Hung. Without a doubt, American Idol has played a significant role in shaping the culture of our country.
And in 2009, the show produced one of the biggest names in entertainment: Adam Lambert.
Lambert was a huge draw in the 8th season of Idol. In fact, he was the runner up for the entire competition, losing out only to Kris Allen. Lambert was a hit with millions of young voters.
He continually gave them something to talk about, from his rendition of songs to his black fingernails…to his sexual orientation.
Although most of Idol-watching America suspected Lambert was gay, it wasn’t until he graced the June 25, 2009 cover of Rolling Stone magazine that the world knew for sure. In the feature article, Lambert finally acknowledged his sexual orientation. “I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m gay.” Later, he added, “I’m proud of my sexuality.”
Lambert’s silence on the show wasn’t an attempt to hide his homosexuality; he just wasn’t going to let his sexual orientation distract him (or voting viewers) from his dream. Lambert had a single focus throughout the duration of the TV show: “I’m trying to be a singer, not a civil rights leader.”
But Lambert was already learning that fans couldn’t separate the high-profile star from his music or his homosexuality; it’s a package deal. One piece of the article described the confusion Lambert found himself in when it came to being a very public entertainer…who’s also a homosexual.
“The head of Idol public relations asked me what I wanted to do about it,” says Lambert. “They were completely supportive of any decision I made.” He thought about coming out in the press, but he didn’t want audiences to focus on the issue. “I was worried that [coming out] would be so sensationalized that it would overshadow what I was there to do, which was sing,” he says. “I’m an entertainer, and who I am and what I do in my personal life is a separate thing. It shouldn’t matter.” He sighs. “Except it does.” He shakes his head. “It’s really confusing.”
Adam is confused because he still doesn’t realize that who we are and what we do in private greatly affects who we are and what we do in public. He’s bought into the lie that whispers “life can be compartmentalized.”
But it can’t.
Sadly, so many “up front” people – politicians, entertainers, even pastors – want to believe what Adam Lambert is trying to believe.
But the consequence of believing that lie is confusion and heartache.
Rolling Stone, June 25, 2009, Pages 52-57.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)