Clay on Gay: People Will Believe What They Want


Clay Aiken issued a non-denial when confronted about his sexuality by People magazine in an issue that hits newsstands Friday.

“What do you say (to that question)? … It’s like when I was 8. I remember something would get broken in the house, and Mom and Dad would call me in and say, ‘Did you do this?’ Well, it didn’t matter what I said. The only thing they would believe was yes. … People are going to believe what they want.”

Interesting analogy. So is being gay being broken?

I remember when I used to break something in the house, I often tried to put it back together or at least make it look like it wasn’t broken so I could postpone the event of someone discovering it. I eventually learned that honesty is the best policy.

Hmm. Suddenly Clay’s analogy makes perfect sense.


  1. leo says

    He doesn’t have to deny anything anymore because he’s already been outed (in the worse possible way) by that ex-military guy.

    It’s amazing how fame and success transformed a nerdy, guileless looking special ed teacher into the major-piece-of-work he is right now.

  2. says

    I don’t care to see Clay’s 15 minutes end. gay or not gay, the boy can sing. I just wish he’d realize that it doesn’t matter if you are gay or not when you are a talented musician. Out musicians succeed all the time. They can’t use the actors’ argument that people can’t see you play a straight character when they know you are gay.

    Also, everytime my parents ask me if I broke the (whatever) that got broken, I did it. Every single time. I think that’s the more interesting part than thiking Clay is inferring that being gay = being broken.

    And for crying out loud, I have more than one good friend who’s hooked up with him and several more he tried to pick up online.

  3. leo says

    The gay issue is a moot point now because even his most rabid fans know that he’s gay and its good that they’re still supporting him. What people should be questioning instead is his practice of unprotected sex which is reprehensible.

  4. for real says

    “And for crying out loud, I have more than one good friend who’s hooked up with him and several more he tried to pick up online.

    Posted by: Dan B | Sep 20, 2006 11:45:14 AM”

    Nasty. Don’t know if this is a source of pride for you, but it’s not something I would share.

  5. Zeke says

    I love Andy’s wise and accurate analysis of Aiken’s statement.

    I just hope the poor guy comes to a point where his career and his self-respect can exist in harmony with each other. If he can’t then it will be up to him to choose which is more important to him. Sadly he may have to decide if holding on to the homophobic segment of his fan base is worth living in the closet.

    He really should talk with other gay artists, like Elton John, who have come out. They could give him valuable perspective, through personal experience, on what it’s like to be an out vs. a closeted entertainer.

    Maybe even a call to Lance Bass (who shares his southern culture and Baptist roots) would give him some insights.

  6. KJ says

    As much as I would wish that Clay would just be authentic and let the chips fall where they may, I know the difficulty in making that step if one has grown up in a conservative, church setting. Hey! It took me 40 years.

    Clay will get there, but only when the struggle of wearing a mask becomes greater than the fear of taking it off. Most of us had the “luxury” of experiencing that process outside of the media limelight and discussions on blogs with “homosexual tendencies.”

  7. rabid says

    What is the deal with forcing people to come out? We know what is best for that person at this juncture of their lives? We are so proud of Lance Bass, who finally comes out when his career is over? Let people be. In my opinion, the only time one should be outed is when they have a vote, and they use it against ANY gay liberties….so far, Aitken doesn’t seem to possess such power. Coming out is a personal rite du passage, and if at this moment, Aitken likes to think of metaphors that something is broken (let’s analyze it) then it can only suggest that this is his current emotion…and we get to judge that? We are no better than The Star or the Enquirer, only instead of cheap paper, we blog it.

  8. Zeke says

    To be fair, I think people are less concerned with the closet status of Aiken and other celebrities and more concerned with the message that is sent when people work so hard to hide or deny their orientation.

    People, rightly or wrongly, take it personally when celebrities act as if the sexuality that they share them is something that is shameful and must be hidden or even lied about.

    I personally don’t care about Clay’s sexuality but I am bothered by all the negative messages that are sent when celebrities act as if having an orientation like mine is akin to being an axe murderer. I can vividly remember how the idea of “the perverted lust that dare not speak its name” affected me growing up in Mississippi.

    The Good As You commentary that I linked to above explained this very well.

    Talk about “special rights” for gays. It is hypocritical for gay celebrities to think that their love lives are more private and should be more protected than any of the thousands of straight celebrities who have their love lives and dirty little secrets plastered across headlines on a daily basis. When the celebrity gossip columns give Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Oprah Winfrey, Heath Ledger and all the other straight celebs their privacy, then Aiken can reasonably expect that they will give him his.

    It’s certainly not the celebrity media’s job to hold anyone’s closet door closed, even though they’ve been doing it faithfully for years.

  9. rabid says

    but isn’t it different when those love lives and dirty little secrets are spread and shared by gay men in a position to influence the culture? I hadn’t heard that it was the media’s job to hold closet doors shut…it reminds me when HIV conspiracy fanatics would make the dubious claim that all doctors were in on keeping HIV alive and well to make money, as if ego, pride and yes, compassion might not compel someone to want to find a cure. Same for the media…if there’s a story to be told,they will tell. I don’t believe its like the 50s, i thinkthe media is relatively unbridled and if they sell their media, they will.
    Which is not holding Andy responsible. He is simply a good editor and a knows that we have a fervent interest in the story. And again, i don’t think it is our job to radar celebrities sexuality…i don’t think CA sends the message that homosexuality is like being an axe murderer (sic), I think he is really suggesting its none of our business.

  10. pete says

    Perhaps to us who couldn’t care less about Clay, yes it is not our business. But what about his avid fans who faithfully support his career? He grows richer by the minute but he can’t truthful about his authentic self?

  11. Zeke says

    Rabid, I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you are getting at. I believe that people should be able to come out in their own time and in their own way but I also live here in the real world where celebrities have to trade a large amount of their privacy in order to achieve and maintain their fame. That is a choice that every celebrity, gay or straight, has to make and live with. Clay chose fame.

    Here’s the bottom line. Clay is no different from any other celebrity who whores him/herself out to the media every chance he gets, especially when he’s trying to sell his latest album or promote his next tour, but then cries foul when that same media reports on his private life (the same way they do with every other public figure).

    It’s Like Paris Hilton with a North Carolina accent; except for the fact that Aiken actually has talent.

    Face it, the media reports things about Aiken’s life that are nobody’s business all the time. True or false he never seems to raise a fuss. For example, we’ve heard all about his religious faith and have seen countless pictures and reports about he and the latest bombshell that was on his arm at the Grammy’s. Strangely enough I’ve never heard him complain about these reports or about the veiled rumors about what girl he may be dating at any given time.

    So the question becomes: Is Clay upset that his privacy is being invaded or is he upset that the media strayed from his scripted press release? It seems that what really bothers him is not being able to completely control what is reported, even when what is reported may be the truth.

    Does anyone really think that Aiken is under more scrutiny than his straight contemporaries? Does anyone think that gay celebrities should get a free pass on having their personal lives explored when straight people don’t get that privilege?

    Being treated equally is a two edged sword. You have to take the bad with the good.

    I swear this is my last long comment!


  12. Jack says

    That WASN’T CLAY! That military guy was trying to embarrass and extort money from Clay. There’s a reason why the pictures were blurry because it wasn’t him.

    Secondly, Clay will come out when he’s ready. He’s not ready. I completely agree with RABID.

  13. Anon says

    This is one of those “multiple wrongs don’t make a right” situations. We are flawed to obsess over celebrities and we are flawed to find fault with their realities or to impose our fantasies upon them. Likewise, celebrities are wrong to manipulate our weaknesses and lead misleading lives for sake of money or more fame, such as with fake marriages, photo ops of “happy” families in “ordinary” situations. Outing a celebrity who is quietly minded his/her own business is probably not a good thing, but going after the hypocrits poseurs is, while still grey, on balance valid. It can never be an entirely good thing to harm someone on purpose but when harm is unavoidable you need to see where the greater good lies. Once gay equality arrives in a generation or two this will be moot.

  14. Chuck says

    Like Rosie,Lance, Ellen and Richard, to name a few, Clay will come out after no one cares who he fucks anymore. He will have by then, become richer and richer. They do become braver after they have built a bigger nest egg, didn’t anyone notice that?

  15. Marco says

    I used to have mixed feelings about outing, but now I am for it. I spent time in the closet as a lot of people did (and seemingly, a lot less now as people are coming out younger every day) and I wished someone had pushed me out. I wasted so much time when I could have been making my way in the world as my true self. Instead, I just worried and acted like the “Marco” I thought the world wanted me to be. Fuck that.

    Clay, you’re young, rich and some tone deaf people even like your music. Get the fuck over yourself and come out already. You’re wasting time. You could be happy and quite possibly kiss those anti-depressants goodbye.

  16. allan says

    It’s not easy to give up the lifestyle that comes with being rich and famous and this could be why Clay refuses to come out. Why risk everything and become a nobody again? Is it worth the laughing and the-pointing- behind-his-back-who-is-he-fooling reactions? Perhaps it is. We are all whores anyway.

  17. Zeke says

    “Outing” has come to be such a broadly defined term that it now seems to cover an extremely wide range of things that didn’t used to be called outing.

    For the record, I’ve never advocated the “outing” (as I define the word) of Clay Aiken. To me, “outing” is the act of exposing a person’s sexuality for the expressed purpose of hurting them. That was exactly what the Army Ranger guy did to Aiken. I thought that his actions, and the motives behind them, were despicable and childish and I said so here at Towleroad at the time.

    However, that seems quite different to me from reporting on a gay celebrity’s love life in the same way that one would report on a straight celebrity’s.

    I don’t think the People interviewer was being malicious; she was simply being a reporter. Though the results of “outing” and “reporting” may be the same, the intent is very different.

    It just seems hypocritical to me that gay celebrities expect to be treated differently by the press and given more privacy than their straight counterparts, that’s all.

    God, I can’t believe I’ve made so many posts on a thread about pop culture and Clay Aiken none the less. I’m getting out before I get completely sucked in by the dark side!

    Back to things that really matter. :)

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