Adam Lambert’s Post-Gay World

Adam Lambert Is a ‘Killer’ Queen by Daniel Reynolds for The Advocate

Dan Massey and I had a somewhat secret passion for Adam Lambert ever since he sang Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen for his audition on American Idol in 2009. (Can you even remember who came in first to his second place finish?) We once spent a weekend in Baltimore and Washington, DC, attending two of Lambert’s early concerts coinciding with his first album. They were medium-sized venues, and at the last one I got lost finding the restroom only to run in to Lambert, face to face, as he was going out on stage.

Yes, he glowed.

Adam Lambert Flickr/creative commons

Adam Lambert
Flickr/creative commons

For several years, Dan not-so-secretly finished each of his emails by attaching some of Lambert’s lyrics we were especially fond of, ones like these that captured VenusPlusX’s campaign for a better world.

Welcome to the Master Plan
Don’t care if you understand
Don’t care if you understand
Welcome to the Master Plan.
(“Master Plan”)

And . . .

I was born with glitter on my face
My baby clothes made of leather and lace
And all the girls in the club wanna know
Where did all their pretty boys go?
(“Sure Fire Winners”) 

Lambert set out to answer that question, Where did all their pretty boys go? Something we are explaining to each other in our joint search for equality rights.

Lambert has become the personalization of gay is good, slowly emerging as one our most articulate gay icons in the entertainment industry.

[Like last year, Lambert is continuing] “as spokesperson for AT&T’s “Live Proud” campaign. The initiative encourages all people – regardless of sexual orientation – to share memes illustrating their pride through social media channels. Five lucky participants in the campaign, which ends August 10, will have the chance to attend a private event with Lambert in New York. The goal, he says, is ’empowerment,’ and to give others ‘a voice to be what and who they are.'”

Through the AT&T campaign and in practically all of his public statements, Lambert is showing youth what it’s like to just be yourself, no matter who that is, and to not only be proud but to be exceedingly happy that you are you. After all, there is no one in the greater universe that can be that person.

Right now Lambert is finishing up a well-reviewed tour with the band QueenHe inhabits the lead spot formerly held by Freddie Mercury, who happened to have been an openly bisexual artist who died of AIDs in 1991. Mercury lived through some bitter years when being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans (LGBT), especially in the public eye, was a grim affair with mostly everyone else in the closet. The AIDs epidemic changed all of that because it has become a matter of life and death to acknowledge LGBT people. 

“I feel like it’s one of the things that I respect about him a lot. He never really made any apologies for anything,” Lambert says of Freddie Mercury. “He just was who he was. And if there’s something I can take from that, it’s that sometimes, especially in today’s world, where we’re at, there’s such a strong statement in just boldly being what and who you are.”

Lambert’s builds on our shared history by heralding the coming ordinariness of being openly gay, a world where we all can live in a post-gay and post-gender, a new age of sexual freedom unimaginable just a couple of decades ago.

Even as the industry continues to close doors on many out musicians, Lambert attests to a noticeable shift to what he terms a “post-gay place.” He maintains that younger generations do not share the stigmas that were more prevalent in Mercury’s day and they refuse to be pigeonholed with labels on their identities.

“This next generation coming up is like, ‘Hey, it doesn’t fucking matter… My sexuality, doesn’t [determine that] this is the type of music I listen to, or this is the type of activities I’m into, or these are the type of people I hang out with. It’s getting to the point now where we’re more mainstream, and we’re allowed to do anything we want, and we’re allowed to be with anybody we want,’” Lambert says. “So there’s not as much segregation… and I think that’s really exciting, because I don’t think it should matter.”

Daniel Reynold’s article today is well worth a full reading.

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Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner is co-founder of VenusPlusX, and writes frequently on global sexual freedom, American fundamentalists exporting hate and homophobia, and grassroots activism.
Alison Gardner