Alex Blaze

Queer music Friday - Clay Aiken

Filed By Alex Blaze | September 26, 2008 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Clay Aiken, queer music

I don't really see what other people see in him, but since he came out this week, here's Clay Aiken covering that old Badfinger hit "Without You" on The View:

iPhone users: Click to watch

His interview on GMA after the jump.

iPhone users: Click to watch

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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | September 26, 2008 5:27 PM

Girl has been out for about 15 minutes and already he's a Queer Music Friday pick.

I am not a fan of his music, but I am glad that he has found the courage to be open and honest about being gay.

Well, he's better than that other "musician" who came out this week...

I'm kinda hoping one of his fans will appear in this thread, though, to explain what exactly it is about him. Maybe he's just above my head.

Perhaps Badfinger did this first,however,Hary Neilsen's version is the one that I remember.

I really like Mariah Carey's version.

In fact, I feel like going to a Clay Aiken concert just to shout "Bring out Mariah Carey! Whooooo! Mariah!"

Badfinger did "Without You" on their "No Dice" album, but it was written and first perfomed (and made a hit by) Harry Nilsson - the album is "Nilsson Schmilsson."

Got too much vinyl on the shelf to let this pass by.

As for Aiken's version, uh, I have the urge to indulge in reverse peristalsis......

To repeat a couple of comments I made in Bil's earlier thread on Aiken...

I like the way Scott Dagostino, a columnist with Canadian queer mag "Xtra" tore a strip off him: -- (Sept. 24 entry)

I believe in honesty so I'll admit it: I'm not feeling very funny today; just a bit annoyed. You know that dizzy, confused feeling you get from the crazy plot-twist endings of movies like "The Sixth Sense" or "The Usual Suspects?" Try to imagine the exact utter opposite of that and you'll have the world's reaction to the announcement that Clay Aiken is gay.

Now Clay (can I call you Clay?), I'm not trying to pick on you. Your coming out is a brave act of honesty that's appreciated even as it comes long, long after anyone could ever give a shit. It's just that, right after becoming a star on "American Idol" in 2002, you almost immediately began denying rumours about your sexuality, finally whining to People magazine in 2006, "It doesn't matter what I say. People are going to believe what they want." Only when they clearly know you're lying, you little tool! Even when one of your Manhunt tricks went and posted your webcam pics on the Internet (which, yes, is very wrong), you still hid and lied. No one cared! You could have come out then but no -- still this ridiculous pretense that's even less plausible than that of Ricky Martin.

I pick on Clay Aiken because of Will Young. In 2002, at the age of 23, he was the winner of the original "Pop Idol" in the UK (Aiken appeared later that year on the subsequent American version). Since then, they've both gained lots of fans and remained on the charts in their respective countries, except that Will Young came out immediately after his win. While Aiken spent the last six years lying to reporters (and probably himself), Young has been forthright about his sexuality in videos both sensitive and funny:


Is it fair to compare the two of them? Growing up in England was no doubt kinder to Will Young than Clay Aiken's American Southern Baptist upbringing but in an interview this week, the British pop star described himself as "the worst gay person ever" because he's reluctant to campaign for gay rights issues. That headline is now everywhere and it's unfair because it's never occurred to Young that it's possible to do even less. Cheers to Clay Aiken for finally telling the truth but, just like on "American Idol," he came in second.

With all that said, it's time once again for a big salute to Ellen DeGeneres, who schools everyone in how to be politically active, charming and funny, and to (who knew?) Lindsay Lohan, who's made the whole 'coming out' story kind of pointless by just living her life and dating her girlfriend out in the open. It's never been about labels, just honesty.


Here's a response by Ramin Setoodeh --

quote: "But why should Aiken deserve to be praised for coming out at the age of 29? You could say that a person's sexuality is nobody's business. But unlike other gay celebrities who have come out recently, like Neil Patrick Harris or Lance Bass, Aiken denied that he was gay long beyond the point of ridiculousness, and he did it in a way that bordered on homophobic.


This week, Aiken told People he hoped he didn't let his fans down—the conservative, panty-tossing Claymates who scooped up his albums by the millions. If anything, though, the idea that being gay could ruin your career in Hollywood is more old school than reruns of "Will & Grace. [...] Which just goes to show that Aiken shouldn't have been scared of letting his Claymates down. He was probably more scared of letting Clay Aiken down—a shame, because when he tries to teach his son about honesty, he'll have to come up with a reason for why he lied for so long. /fin

I'm so over getting mad at celebrities who don't come out. There are so many great, already-out musicians to support if their identity is important that getting mad at Clay Aiken for not coming out seems trivial.

The most amazing thing about Clay Aiken is the rather substantiated rumor that he is a top!

Kevin Erickson | September 27, 2008 5:47 PM

this is a harry nillson song

Not a bad way to revitalize a career, you know, the whole coming out thing. He made the cover of People. I'm sure his publicist has more details.

But on a less cynical, more personal note, I think its a personal decision and I don't think less of a person if they stay in the closet. They have their reasons, it is their life to live and they know what is best.

It really bothers me that some of criticize our brothers and sisters, particularly those of 'celeb status', for the timing, delay or hesitation in coming out! And to berate someone because they denied their sexuality is unfair. Denial is part of the process for most of us. The reasons for denial can be deeply personal and complex. I don't think there are too many of the millions of us who were priviledge to skip the denial stage either. And, from the little I know about the guy, Aiken is obviously not one of the few priviledged skip the-denial-stage gay men. Certainly the aforementioned (in another reply) Southern Baptist upbringing complicated his decisions. Having a cop for a father certainly complicated things for me struggling with coming out in the seventies. So I can empathize with the fact that some of us need more time than others; that we often have a denial stage. We all need to step back a bit and look at the big picture before we belittle our 'newcomers'.

Slight correction to the first line of my post...
"that some of criticize" should read "some of US criticize". Brain was faster than fingers this morning...a rarity! LOL.