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Comments

Deanna

Eloquently put. I always look fwd to hearing your POV (long time reader of your blog).

Kat

Rich, I love you. Very well said, and I agree entirely (especially on the subject of gay adoption, this is something I've been thinking about as well for a while). I just hope that we're not overestimating these people and assuming they'll choose to accept homosexuality instead of letting their blood boil with disgust and cutting out anyone who doesn't fit into their notion of what being a good person is. They're rarely the logical types, which makes me fear that even if every gay person turned purple, they would just get angry for being deceived and stone that person even harder than anyone else.

But even if only some of the people out there gain compassion, it is a win for the side of human rights, and maybe things will get better in this country. We can only hope!

Rebecca

There's a Fandom Wank write-up for you. (If you don't occasionally read it, you should. It's like Oh No They Didn't for fandom.) (Also, you wrote "Dubledore" instead of "Dumbledore.")

Melinda

Very very well put!
Basically my same thoughts over the past couple of days, except I wouldn't have been able to articulate them nearly as well...

ellen

wow. great post, rich- haha i'm a little teary-eyed to be honest. . . that's what 3 hours of sleep will do to you i suppose. but really it is a very well written and informative article!

Melinda

Rich, I'd love to hear your take on the Kelly Ripa incident. She was in the wrong, but Clay really was being obnoxious that day.

Mer

Beautifully written.

sarah

incredibly articulate & so well-put.

Noel

It took me moving away from home and turning 20 before I came out and it is so interesting to hear others coming out stories. I too found it offensive how Clay would react at anyone hinting at his homosexuality. I can't wait to pick up the article and read more.

BradOFarrell

Great post. I also remember seeing Clay on TV denying it once. It was in college, in the commons area, with a guy I was kinda 'seeing', and it made me so mad to hear him say that when he was CLEARLY gay. I wasn't even 100% out at the time ('out to friends' etc) and I still had zero sympathy for him. In all the wacky sitcom moments pre-coming out, where I had to deny being gay, I never did it in such a way that was disgusted and dismissive. He wasn't just "not answering the question" nor was he being just being "outraged" by the question, he was being self-righteous, disgusted, and offended by the question. Which pisses me off. A lot. I mean, yeah you're right this is probably a good thing, but now I'm angry again thinking about what dick he is, haha.

Cheryl

Man oh man did I have a crush on Clay Aiken when he was on American Idol...the southern accent got me, the red hair and how he worked with special needs kids..*sigh*

It was then pointed out to me by just about everyone that he was gay. I thought.."ok, so he won't marry me but he's still as cute as a button". I can kind of understand not coming out while on the show but to use his son as the reason he can't lie anymore..meh. By waiting this long it's not like this was some huge bombshell or anything - it's a little cruel to his 'Claymates' who defended him for so many years.

DLCS

There's a difference between being defined as "The Gay (insert profession here)" and "The (insert profession here) who is gay."

The harder he fought against Label #1 in interviews and such, the more he opened himself up to analysis of his statements, the more defensive he got, and the circle continued.
So he finally took the Gordian Knot step of slicing through the rope, but honestly, you're right that the more in-tune and aware of America had this guy dinged from the moment he sang at his first audition.

There's a great line in "Bull Durham"--the world was made for those who are not cursed with self-awareness. Too true. This world was made for people who want the media to think for them, who want to vote for the "pretty" people, and who would probably stand in line for HOURS to audition for "OW! My Balls!"

Welcome to the Cursed Pit, Clay. Took you long enough.
And Goddess bless that baby. You've got a chance to change a LOT of people's minds. Use it well.

Genevieve

Just like everyone else said, excellent post.
I think to most of America it's a no duh announcement. But man, those Claymates were so in denial it's amazing. I've been reading their forums the past couple of days & you would think he died.
On the one hand I am disgusted by these religious right asses (well I always am actually) & don't care what they believe I'll just be happy when they all die & go to hell. But on the other hand I am glad that someone out there is like Clay & going thru this if just to have a few of them see gays are just like everyone else.
I wish everyone could just be gay for a few days & realize it's really nothing.

Dollface

Well put. I agree with your statement about gay adoption. Anyone who gets in the way of someone giving a child a home on the basis of the parent's sexuality...that's just ridiculous.

lisas

Oh Rich you hit it right on the head. Cursed are we, for Clay Aiken has become culturally relevant. I'm going to put some ashes on my head and shave off my eyebrows, because the end is nigh.

lengli

This is an outstanding article. Well done, Rich!

Michael in DC

Well put Rich.

tt_marie

Great write-up. Very thoughtful and well done. I have to say, though, that I have a lot of sympathy for Clay. Let's be honest - part of (most of?) his appeal to the masses was his straight-laced, wholesome public persona, and he was probably terrified that coming out publicly would ruin his career. That's a shitty position to be in. I don't really think that he sounds offended by the prospect of being labelled gay in those interviews, but more at the fact that he wanted to keep his personal life separate from his public life and the press was making it impossible. I feel for the guy. I hope he can relax a little now that it's out there.

matt

i kinda still don't want him on our team. even though we knew he was all along. still. can we have Ruben instead?

Rachel/subpolka

Well put.

"Still, Clay's reactions since 2003...seemed to bespeak offense at the notion that he could possibly like dick..."

You know, it's quite possible that he *was* deeply offended by the suggestion. A friend of mine was in denial about his sexuality for years and years, simply because his religion condemned homosexuality as a damnable offense. Clay was raised in the South in a Christian environment, if I recall correctly; on that basis, I'm willing to give him both the benefit of the doubt *and* credit for finally being true to himself at the risk of alienating hoardes of Christian music-loving(/Clay CD-buying) fangirls.

archipelagic

I love reading you, but the Middle America bashing gets to me. The "ignorant mindset of Middle America"? Middle America is huge, and it includes diverse urban centers like Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Detroit. I know on the coasts you don't like to acknowledge those cities, but I've been all over the world and perhaps my two favorite cities are Fukuoka, Japan and Minneapolis. Plus, small-town liberals are about the awesomest people I've ever met. At least add a modifier, like "parts of Middle America".

Miss Lisa

There's probably just as much intolerance on the coasts as anywhere else. Just drive East from San Francisco for about 45 miles and you'll encounter a large share of homophobic individuals. Or just walk to the Mission District from the Castro...oh, never mind. I'm not going to get into it.

I'm glad Clay came out, despite all the denial over the years. Having a baby can really wake people up (in more ways than one). And growing up really Christian can surely fuck with your head, so it's probably a big step for him, even though nearly everyone knew his deal all along.

Man, last night there was Isis on ANTM, Clay's cover story, and Lindsay and Sam proclaiming their love. I feel like I'm living in the future and I like it (except for the GOP, which still sucks).

rocksee

Clay Aiken looks like my first blind date. I think he was gay too.

scamps

All I care is, does he play a good Sir Robin in Spamalot?

Underneath

Not a great post. Aiken refused to discuss his sexuality because he wasn't ready to, and that's up to the individual. People in the media bullying celebrities to come out sets a dangerous precedent--is that in any way acceptable with unfamous individuals whom we 'suspect' in the workplace, at school, etc? Aside from being rather dull gossip, it is also a terrible way for gay activists to try to make headway. Out gay men will have to accept that the only person they can 'control' with regards to coming out is themselves. Outing other people and trying to justify it for 'political reasons' is unethical. End of story.

Gay people need to get over the idea that artists who are gay exist to 'represent them' in various disciplines. They don't. They exist to be artists, and bad gay artists need to be dismissed--being 'out' means nothing if you have no talent. Aiken is a good singer who, like most good singers, chooses to sing conventional and dull material.

As for J.K. Rowling? The 'gay character' thing was PC and cowardly of her. PC because she wanted to get the kudos for being so 'brave' and 'open-minded' without actually putting something in the actual books to make the character gay--something that would have upset many a parent. Hence the cowardice--she didn't want to deal with negative publicity and declining sales, so she chose the safe route. And in terms of literature, declaring a character gay outside of the work is meaningless. If it's not in the work, it doesn't count.

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