Although Adam Lambert is currently celebrating his first movie role, he is still working through the criticism he received following his participation on the first season of American Idol 14 years ago.
“When I got to the audition, my first thought was, “Man, I seriously doubt that they are going to pick me.” I am the guy who is gay. This is a wishful thinking,’ “The actor from Fairyland, who ultimately came in second place behind season 8 winner Kris Allen in 2009, stated this while accepting an award at the 2023 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Gala on Saturday.
Kris Allen was the winner of the competition. “And to top it all off, I was able to advance all the way to the championship round! I mean, I had no idea that it would go on for that long. I was completely unprepared. And then after I finished the show, I was offered a record deal, which I accepted. An Entertainment Weekly article was like, ‘Oh, this guy’s exciting, and it may or not be because he might be gay.’ And I was like, ‘Might be?!'”
The former Broadway performer claims that he embarked on a “really exciting trip” when he made the transition into the recording industry.
“There were no guys who identified as gay. In that respect, it was a bit like being in the Wild West “He proceeded further. “A year later, I participated in a performance that was shown live on the American Music Awards on the night when my debut single was released to the public. And I performed in the manner that I had been familiar with ever since I was a young adult. I did a few of suggestive moves with a couple of dancers, and I had an impromptu kiss with my bass player.”
“I was kind of sensual, and I had dancers on stage. I could feel it in my body. After I left the stage, things went from bad to worse for me. The network responded with an indignant “How dare you?” They put a temporary suspension on my account. They warned me that they would file a lawsuit against me.
“Oh, okay, that’s where we’re at,” we thought to ourselves. I was unaware of it. I’d been living in a sheltered environment in Los Angeles, surrounded by artists and other oddballs, and I wasn’t aware that something of that nature could cause as much uproar as it did.”
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From this, Lambert derived the belief that the most effective way to bring about change was to “act as homosexual as I possibly can f—-ing. And be flashy and wild, and if it gets me into trouble, then it gets me into trouble, but I’m not going to back down from it in any way.”
And he claims that he has witnessed the effect that this visibility has had: “Over the past few years, I keep meeting more and more young people that watched me when we were kids on TV and they’re like…’You helped me talk to my parents about being homosexual.’
Now, Lambert thinks that the music business sees it as a “Signing gay talent is a smart business move. And the movie business is getting better. More and more gay and lesbian stories are being told.”
Cody Fern, who stars with him in Fairyland, a coming-of-age story set in the 1970s and 1980s about a teen girl with gay dads, gave Lambert an award at the Creative Coalition’s annual Sundance Film Festival gala. Other winners were Phoebe Dynevor (Fair Play), Luis A. Miranda Jr. (Going Varsity in Mariachi), Lewis Pullman (The Starling Girl), Randall Park (Shortcomings), and Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project).
At the end of his acceptance speech, Lambert said, “Visibility is so powerful.” “The LGBTQ community has been attacked for a long time and is again being attacked. There is a lot of pushback from conservatives against making art that shows the queer experience and features people. That makes the LGBTQ community stronger and gives them hope. It makes us feel good. It helps us get rid of some of the shame and self-hatred we learn as kids. I’m so happy to be an artist right now. We have a lot of problems to solve. It’s still going on. Even though there is still work to be done, I am so proud of the work that has already been done.”
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