Earlier this week, OUT Magazine editor Aaron Hicklin wrote an editor’s letter to Adam Lambert that chastised both Lambert and his handlers for making sure his OUT 100 photo shoot wasn’t “too gay.”
Personally, I thought that, in writing the editor’s letter, Hicklin betrayed a misunderstanding of both the direction and the growth of the LGBT population’s understanding of itself. We have fought for decades to be seen as complete human beings, and when Lambert and his people decided that he didn’t want to be seen as “too gay,” well, that was his choice. Not one I would have made, but having that choice is precisely what equality is about. And Hicklin didn’t see that.
Yesterday, Lambert responded to the hubbub surrounding the letter in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. And, after reading what he had to say about the “controversy,” I respect Lambert now more than ever.
From the interview:
What people don’t realize is, I am managing my image, more than maybe the editor of OUT magazine likes to give anybody credit for. My team is a team . . . I’m not being puppeted around. I didn’t want to jump onto a gay magazine as my first thing, because I feel like that’s putting myself in a box and limiting myself. It was my desire to stay away from talking about certain political and civil rights issues because I’m not a politician. I’m an entertainer. That is not my area of expertise. I can talk about relationships and personal experiences because as an artist those things involve writing lyrics and that part of my process. But I didn’t feel comfortable talking about the March on Washington. I didn’t feel comfortable, so I asked my publicist to ask the interviewer to stay away from the political questions. I take full responsibility for that. I think that the editor has his agenda and has his opinions, which I respect, but they’re not necessarily my opinions. And I wish there was a little respect for that. Not every gay man is the same gay man.
. . . But the funny thing is, in order for us to progress, we need to stop segregating ourselves. And a letter like that, that viewpoint — the letter that Aaron wrote is holding us back. Because it’s recognizing the big difference as opposed to letting us all ignore preference and just be people. So I think in attempt to champion a cause he’s actually taking a big step backwards.
Let’s hope Hicklin reads Lambert’s response.