Clay Aiken | I'm Gay | Magazines | News

Clay Aiken on Coming Out and Being Gay: 'It's in the Code'

People has released some of their interview with Clay Aiken on his decision to finally tell the world he's gay.

AikencoverSaid Aiken: "It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that...[I hope my fans ] know that I've never intended to lie to anybody at all. ... But if they leave, I don't want them to leave hating me."

On coming out to his family: "The born-again Christian singer also reveals how he told his mother Faye he's gay four years ago. After dropping off his younger brother Brett, who was being deployed to Iraq, at Camp Lejeune, 'I started crying in the car,' Aiken remembers. 'It was dark. I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don't know why I started thinking about it ... I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out.' So what was his mom's reaction? 'She started crying. She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting.' Even now, Aiken admits, 'She still struggles with things quite a bit, but she's come a long way.'"

Said Aiken of his child: "I have no idea if he'll be gay or straight. It's not something I'll have anything to do with, or that he'll have anything to do with. It's already probably up inside the code there ... No matter what the situation you're in, if you're raised in a loving environment, that's the most important thing."

The full issue will be released on Friday. AP's report on the news, AFTER THE JUMP...

Clay's Greatest Hits - Previously on Towleroad
Clay Aiken Cries from the Closet on QVC? [tr]
Clay Aiken: People Don't Care About My Sexuality [tr]
Clay Aiken Snaps at Another Reporter Over the "Gay" Question [tr]
Kansas Church: If Clay Aiken's Gay, He Can't Sing Here [tr]
Trouble in Claynation: Battle Over Aiken's Sexuality [tr]
Homophobia on Morning TV: Rosie vs. Kelly vs. Clay [tr]
Clay on Gay: People Will Believe What They Want [tr]

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  1. I'm glad he came out publicly. I hope it makes a difference on some of the views his socially conservative fans might have.

    Posted by: Aman Chaudhary | Sep 24, 2008 7:35:47 AM

  2. His Mom was "obviously stunned?" Really?! Stunned? I guess denial really does run deep. And AMAN, his conservative fans will have already started burning his CD's by now. They don't change and never will. Fred Phelps will be at every Clay Aiken concert now picketing "God Hates Clay Gayken," guaranteed.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Sep 24, 2008 7:40:02 AM

  3. Let's not polarize male sexuality too much. There's far too much of this gay/straight nonsense. Most men are biologically bisexual and that's that. The notion of men being either straight or gay is political bullshit put out by some in the gay community as well as homophobes. It's an indecent coalition, of that there can be no doubt.

    Clay may be gay and good luck to him. I'm glad that he's come out publicly. But let's not fall for this gay/straight divide in male sexuality. It does a disservice to men everywhere.

    Posted by: jason | Sep 24, 2008 7:43:35 AM

  4. Did Aiken just say that homosexuality is something you're born with and not a choice? There's hope for that Christian yet.

    Posted by: Philip Wester | Sep 24, 2008 7:47:31 AM

  5. Who cares about his fans? I just hope people will leave him alone about it now and that maybe he'll finally get some peace over the issue. What a sad thing -- to be in the public eye before you're ready to come to terms with it yourself, when everyone has already made up their minds about something so personal before you had. I hope it's a relief. (And I hope Kathy Griffin will be somewhat gentle! haha)

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 24, 2008 7:53:41 AM

  6. Does Towleroad have a policy of banning trolls like Jason? If it does, now would be a good time to use it. In fact, Jason, the more research that goes on in to the matter, the more evidence shows that men ARE born gay or straight. Women have more of a possibility to be bisexual. I'm sure if Clay had been able to soften the blow to his right-wing fans by saying he was bisexual, he would have done so.
    Why don't you give up posting your stupid drivel here because you're always going to get called out on it, ok? I'm amazed you somehow didn't manage to blame this on Obama!
    It might be possible that some straight men are capable of being quasi-sexualized with other men - in prison for example - but they are never actually attracted to other men in an environment where women are an option. Maybe you've had experience with this? Well nobody in their right mind believes that's a sign that "most men are biologically bisexual". A hard dick can be stuck anywhere - even in an animal. Does that make most men biologically zoophilic?

    Posted by: St. Theresa of Avila | Sep 24, 2008 8:34:12 AM

  7. Why is kd lang holding that baby?

    Posted by: John | Sep 24, 2008 8:35:01 AM

  8. John - hehehehehehe...

    Glad he finally pulled it together.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Sep 24, 2008 8:57:01 AM

  9. so being a born-again christian made Clay Aiken lie and hide things unintentionally, even though he wasn't raised that way...
    he's such a drip, and i wish he wasn't gay.

    Posted by: A.J. | Sep 24, 2008 9:01:44 AM

  10. Hi Jason,
    You're wrong. As usual. Go away.

    Congrats again to Clay. The conversation with his mother is eerily familiar. I look forward to reading the whole article.

    Posted by: crispy | Sep 24, 2008 9:04:32 AM

  11. So is it me or does Clay sort of look like Sarah Palin with a snappy pixie lesbian haircut? And . . . the baby bares a slight resemblance to Norman "Mr. Roper" Fell?

    Anyhoo, Congrats to Clay.

    Posted by: phredd! | Sep 24, 2008 9:23:17 AM

  12. Hey Jason read this. Guess what guys are not bisexual.,10117,15845492-13762,00.html

    Posted by: Andy in Denver | Sep 24, 2008 10:04:45 AM

  13. next stop: Dancing With the Stars!

    Posted by: Dan B | Sep 24, 2008 10:13:17 AM

  14. I would just love it if all the gay bitches out there suddenly had to embrace Gayken because he starts saying all the right things.

    Posted by: Bakeley | Sep 24, 2008 10:45:52 AM

  15. welcome home clay!

    This has nothing to do with the story but if you live in or visit Las Vegas please don't patronize THE EAGLE.

    While trying to set up an OBAMA PRIDE event I was told they couldn't do "a Democratic event because we're McCain supporters!"!

    Please stop supporting bars and companies that take our money to kill our movement!

    Sorry to go off subject but this is important.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Sep 24, 2008 11:02:34 AM

  16. really? is that true about the Eagle?

    are they all owned by the same people?

    and do they support gay hating Republicans?

    I am not interested in fat, hairy old guys,
    to begin with, but, I will never give that place
    a dollar.

    fuck the Eagle.

    Posted by: mike nyc | Sep 24, 2008 11:14:30 AM

  17. This is just wonderful news all around, especially considering Clay himself is a Christian, his family is mad conservative, and all his biggest fans are southern Christians. This out-coming is a very, very important one for the cause of changing hearts in places still racked with ignorance. So, good job, Clay!

    Judgement of him by our community now is neither necessary nor productive.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Sep 24, 2008 11:16:31 AM

  18. Who the freak is he fooling...everyone knows he is gay. You dumb enough if you don't see it.

    I bet Kathy Griffin is writing some jokes about this...and...can't wait to see it.

    Posted by: seph | Sep 24, 2008 11:17:40 AM

  19. Coming out is one of the most important moments in the life of a gay person - if not the most important. So what I am going to write does not reflect how I feel about the inherent bravery of people who come out, no matter their age or their circumstances.


    First of all, who the hell cares/didn't know that Clay Aiken is gay? Sounds to me like he needed some press since he's been out of the so-called limelight (and for good reason - he's absolutely talentless and tasteless) for some time. If this is the case, then I feel rather ambivalently about his coming out. It lacks the bravery I described above since everyone already knew he was gay and since he deflected the question of his sexuality, sometimes nastily, all along up to this point. Now he's a gay dad, pictured with that poor son of his, and telling his story of woe and hardship all the way to the bank.

    Second, he came out to his mother right after SHE DROPPED HER SON OFF TO GO TO IRAQ?! Way to make that moment all about you, Clay! Good one. You should be proud.

    So it is a pattern, officially. Clay Aiken uses "shocks" the world with his coming out as a way to get attention, because he's an attention whore.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Sep 24, 2008 11:17:58 AM

  20. Those of us lucky enough to choose when we come out usually do it when we are strong enough, or lonely enough to be ready. Clay looked pretty lonely most of the time. I'm glad he's strong enough now.

    Posted by: Rikard | Sep 24, 2008 11:24:38 AM

  21. Mike NYC
    I only know about the one in Vegas.

    I am really sorry if I offended anyone but when we spend our money its important we aim it places that support us, not work against us.

    All of Towleroads stories relate to the Eagle being owned by republican McCain supporters. But I do apologize if it offended anyone.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Sep 24, 2008 11:51:20 AM

  22. Congratulations to Clay Aiken and welcome.

    Posted by: sam | Sep 24, 2008 11:57:01 AM

  23. I think I just threw up a little bit.

    Posted by: Mr. E | Sep 24, 2008 12:05:30 PM

  24. As for the bisexual squabble above:

    Alright, none of us likes Jason. It appears as though he's going to vote not for Obama. (I cannot bring myself to say the Mc word or the P word without flying into a rage or choking on my own hatred, so we'll just leave it as "not for Obama.) And he's all around just a nasty fellow. The claim that all men are bisexual, or that no man is actually 100% gay or straight, is a little ludicrous.

    However, that bisexuality doesn't exist in men is probably bullshit and flies in the face of all historical evidence, not to mention logic. I don't care how many studies there are (the one with the link posted above surveyed a whopping 101 men - hardly the basis for a firm scientific conclusion).

    Bisexuality had been the status quo in men for centuries - at least for men who were inclined to whatever degree to have sex with other men. Many men would marry women, and have sex with them, and then have sex with other males on the side if they wanted to. We know this at least for the literate classes (the well-off and the clergy, mostly) because their lives were recorded by themselves or by others. We don't know very much about the habits, sexual or otherwise, of the non-literate classes, unfortunately, except from occasional legal documents (if these people were ever on trial, for example).

    That's just one example of the historical record disproving the notion that men cannot be bisexual. We can also look to works of art and literature for further, though less stable, evidence.

    With the emergence of post-industrial societies, men who have been inclined to have sex with other men have been able to do so and to self-identify as "gay" or "bisexual." This is a historical, economic circumstance, and it is a modern one. Logic suggests (to me, at least) that one of the reasons why most men, at least in recent times, are turned on basically exclusively by one or the other sex is that our choices as to whom to sleep with are precisely that: they are choices to which we are conditioned, through language (like the self-identifying terms "gay" "straight" "bisexual") and through society (itself conditioned by language).

    This is not to say that sexuality or sexual preference is all choice or conditioning, but it is a factor. That is, all sexuality (homo-, hetero-, and bisexuality, and everything else) is probably in part genetic (nature) and in part conditioned by various factors (nurture). None of us enters the world as a clean slate, and the slate is further marked up as we become socialized.

    This is mostly opinion, of course, and many of you will disagree with me, which is great.

    More troubling, however, is the readiness that many gay men have in attacking and undermining bisexuality as a non-thing, a fiction. Although I am certain that many men who identify as bisexual are actually homosexual and just can't bring themselves to part with their self-image as "real men" who still like having sex with women, in other cases I'm equally certain that there are men who enjoy having sex with men and with women.

    For a reason that I have not been able quite yet to determine, the fact of bisexuality is threatening to many gay men. I suppose that many feel that bisexuality somehow connotes "choice," and thus undermines the notion that gay sexuality is not a choice, but is something entirely genetic. This is a line of reasoning that I just don't get. Who cares if our sexuality is a choice, or a partial choice, or partially genetic, or whatever? Does that impact our validity as human beings? Who cares if non-sympathetic straight people consider us evil and degenerate or "inverts" (to use an old word for us gay men)? If we argue that our homosexuality (or bisexuality, if that's the case) is genetic, then I feel that we further support the notion that heterosexuality is normal, not to mention normative, as we have to argue actively on non-heterosexuality's behalf.

    I'd rather just throw my hands up and say "Yes, I choose to be homosexual" (which I don't actually believe) because at least then there would be a challenge to non-sympathetic straight people to question whether their sexuality is a choice as well, on the one hand, and on the other, a forcing of the question of whether this "choice" makes a difference in our human validity.

    If people wish to believe that every sexual preference that isn't heterosexual is somehow wrong, they are going to believe it and no study, no genetic marker, no argument is going to change their minds. I feel that we shouldn't bother to pander to those people by offering a totalizing genetic counter-argument or any other kind of counter-argument - it's a slippery slope: before you know it, all sex that isn't in the missionary position or through a sheet is going to be deemed "incorrect" and "morally reprehensible," and so on.

    So who cares if there are men who choose to, or are "naturally" (a problematic word) inclined to, have sex with both men and women? Rather than threatening the social and political positions of the gay community, it in fact bolsters the overall idea that sex between two or more consenting adults is really no one else's business, and that human sexuality is and should be accepted as expressed and expressible in a variety of ways. That is, when it comes to consenting adults, there's no right or wrong way to "do it."

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Sep 24, 2008 12:15:06 PM

  25. Clay Aiken comes out. And the world says, "No kidding, sister."

    Posted by: jj | Sep 24, 2008 12:31:31 PM

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